It’s November and in true midwestern form we have gone from lovely warm, crisp autumn days to freezing cold over the span of a couple weeks.
Time to get that furnace blowing and keep the home and family toasty warm. But, as we switch the AC over to the furnace, we know worry about the gas bill going sky-high. Heating the home can account for nearly 70% of the energy costs of your home. Here are 7 tips to keep your home warm without draining your checking account every month.
1. Open the Curtains
Heat from the sun is free. Simply open those blinds and curtains during the day and let the sunshine in. When it gets dark be sure to close the curtains and blinds to act as insulation to keep in the warm air.
2. Program the Thermostat
Program the temperatures down when you sleep (recommended temperature for a good sleep is 65°F) and if you aren’t home during the day dial it down for the time no one is home. Then, program the thermostat to begin warming up 30 minutes prior to waking in the morning or arriving home in the afternoon. So, you will be toasty warm.
Additionally, if you can stand it, turn down the temperature completely. Turning down the thermostat by just 1° can potentially cut your energy costs by up to 10%.
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, install one now. It is a great way to keep your home temperature regulated and your energy bills down.
3. Move the Couch
Snuggling up on the couch next to the vent is a great way to stay toasty warm, however the couch will absorb the heat, leaving the room cooler than you would like and wastes energy. Move the couch away from the vents and be sure the vents are free from obstructions like throw rugs, tables, etc.
4. Update the Insulation.
Nearly 25% of the heat of a home is lost through the roof. Rectify this heat loss by installing insulation in the attic. While you are at it, make sure your walls are insulated properly and be sure to seal any cracks in the foundation or window frames.
Though insulation installation is not cheap, it will save you money in the long run.
5. Check the Ducts
Make sure your air ducts are not clogged or have any leaks. A simple, inexpensive cleaning can clear the crud and make the air flow better. Additionally, while having the ducts clean have them checked for any gaps or leaks in the ductwork and have that repaired immediately.
6. Raise the Humidity
Cold winter air is usually very dry, especially indoors. This also contributes to making you feel cold. The home heating system tends to suck moisture out of the air, resulting in feeling colder. Increasing the humidity level in the home can help make 68° feel like 75°. Moisture in the air will also allow the indoor air to retain heat longer, thus the longer the temperature and home remain warm the furnace doesn’t need to work as hard to warm up the house. (A whole house humidifier is a great solution to adding moisture to the home.)
7. Replace your HVAC System
The typical HVAC system lasts around 10 to 15 years. If your unit is quite old, you may want to consider updating your system. Additionally, if the newer furnaces have energy saving and efficiency features that will save you money.
You Can Keep Warm & Save Money
With a bit of planning and elbow grease you can keep your home and your family toasty warm this winter without spending a small fortune!
If you are unsure about your HVAC system or your furnace’s performance, be sure to schedule a system check today, we can help you figure out how it is working and what you need to do to keep your home warm this winter.