We are all starting to feel the shorter days and the colder nights. Winter will officially arrive on December 21st and with it comes with several months of snow and cold. The 2017 winter outlook predicts freezing cold temperatures and average snowfall. Instead of going into hibernation mode, COListings wants you to enjoy the season in your current or new home with these seven ways to stay warm and save money.
When you have the heat on, the last thing you want is a cool breeze blowing on you. Most ceiling fans have a reverse setting that allows the fan to run in the opposite, or clockwise direction. This allows for the air to still circulate without a direct breeze. Because warm air rises, running the fan in the clockwise direction grabs the warm air and forces it out and down the walls. The air will circulate resulting in a balanced temperature in the room. This will not only make your home more comfortable, but you can save up to 10% on heating costs.
Lower the temperature
Although some manufacturers suggest you set water heater thermostats at 140º F, most households usually only require them to be set at 120º F. You can reduce the hot water temperature by setting your water heater to the "normal" setting. You will still get nice warm showers and the savings are 7%-11% of water heating costs.
Use energy technology
Using energy monitors like a programmable thermostat is a convenient way to make sure your home is warm when you are home and saves energy when you are away. Keep the temperature lower during the day and at night. Don't forget to lower when you are away for several days. This results in a 15% to 30% reduction on heating costs.
Block those breezes
Most modern homes are equipped with weather stripping around the door and a threshold at the bottom edge of external doors, but as a house settles, these often stop being efficient. The same applies to windows. Seals can be compromised over time. You should be comfortable in your home and you don’t want to pay to heat the outside. Make sure to use caulking or replace draft materials. Doing so can save you 5%-10% each year.
Layer up windows
You can insulate your home by simply keeping curtains or blinds closed to keep out the winter cold. Open during sunny days to let in the heat of the sun. Close them at night to hold the heat in.
Keep it closed
By closing doors of rooms that aren’t used frequently, the warmth produced by your furnace can be focused on the rooms that you do use. Once you need the room, the doors can be opened a few hours beforehand so you or your guests are comfortable. Another way to keep warm and save money is to keep the garage door closed. This will utilize the insulation it provides your home. Your pipes will be protected and your furnace will not have to work harder than it needs to.
Check your vents
Make sure you keep all vents open and unblocked. Furniture, blankets and animal beds in common areas can keep the air from circulating throughout the room. Don’t forget about children’s rooms where clothes and toys on the floor often block the source of heat.
Heating your home during the winter months makes up almost 50% of your electric bill. With these simple tips from COListings, you can keep the winter chill outside so you can enjoy your home.