As you probably know, you spend more power in winter as the temperature outside decreases, and your heater has to work harder to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. You also need more hot water to carry out different tasks such as bathing, cooking, and doing laundry.
The furnace is on most of the day, quickly adding to a high electric bill. Thankfully, there are many ways you can conserve heat to not only lower the energy costs but also protect the furnace and extend its lifespan.
Tune Up The Furnace
Take time to learn the importance of furnace tune-ups and how they’ll save you money in the long run. When well informed, a furnace tune-up will always be at the top of your winter to-do list because it makes your furnace run more efficiently.
Call a professional to clean the furnace, change the filter, and do any necessary repairs. They will also check for any gas leaks and test the safety controls. During this exercise, they gauge how much energy the furnace uses and whether it needs a replacement.
Block The Drafts
If you can feel a cold breeze coming through the windows or doors, you have drafted. The tiny openings let in a lot of cold air, making your furnace work harder. The solution is to block the drafts with weather stripping or caulk.
You can also use a door sweep and replace old windows with energy-efficient ones. Other areas to check are the cracks around recessed lighting, the space behind baseboards, and the keyholes. Seal HVAC vents and electrical outlets as well.
Set The Right Temperature
The U.S Department of Energy recommends setting the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit when you’re home and awake. Lower the temperature when you’re asleep or away since you don’t need as much heat.
Remember to adjust the temperature gradually for your body to adjust. Drastic changes could lead to sickness. Also, clean the thermostat sensors and replace the batteries to ensure it’s working correctly.
Insulate The Attic And Basement
Heat rises, so it makes sense to insulate the attic, minimizing heat loss. Check the basement for cracks and gaps and fill them with caulk or expansion foam. Insulate the walls, floors, pipes, and ductwork as well.
Use The Curtains And Blinds
Open the curtains and blinds during the day to let in the sun’s heat, then close them at night to trap the heat inside. Invest in thermal-backed curtains as they’re thicker and do a better job of insulating the windows. Also, lower the shades if the windows face the sun to keep the heat out in summer.
Use A Humidifier
A humidifier adds moisture to the air, making you feel warmer. The ideal relative humidity is between 30 and 50%. Use a hygrometer to measure the humidity and adjust accordingly. Consider a whole-house humidifier as it’s more efficient than portable ones. Dry air leads to static electricity, respiratory problems, and dry skin.
Use Alternative Heating Sources
Take advantage of alternative heating sources such as space heaters and wood-burning stoves. Place the space heater in the room you spend most of your time in and keep the door closed.
This way, you can lower the furnace’s temperature, saving money on your energy bill. Alternatively, use a wood-burning stove or fireplace to supplement the furnace’s heat. Just make sure that the flue is open before lighting a fire.
Educate Your Family
Make sure everyone in the family knows how to conserve heat. Educate them on the importance of maintaining a comfortable temperature and only using the furnace when necessary.
Explain that drafts make the furnace work harder and waste energy. Finally, teach them how to properly use a space heater, wood-burning stove, or fireplace.
Save Money While Maximizing Efficiency
Heating your home during winter doesn’t have to be expensive. Opt for energy-efficient methods that save money while conserving heat. Consult an expert when concerned about rising energy bills or your furnace’s efficiency.