How To Keep Your Home Warm For Less
Written By: Warm Thoughts Communications on December 22, 2020
In the northeastern U.S., winter is a period of high energy use—and most of that energy goes to keeping folks warm. The problem is that people often use much more energy than necessary to stay safe and cozy.
By taking advantage of alternative heat sources, preparing your home for cold weather and investing in simple, energy-saving technologies, you can save energy without sacrificing comfort.
6 Home Energy Saving Tips
Let’s look at six strategies for staying warmer—that will cost you a little less—in the coming winter season:
- Take advantage of secondary heat sources.
A secondary heat source can be anything from a fireplace or wood-burning stove to a mini space heater or electric blanket. These heat sources are designed for small, targeted areas of your home and work at a fraction of the cost of raising your thermostat even a few degrees.
Secondary heat sources can be especially useful in hard-to-heat rooms, or on particularly cold days and nights—just be sure to use them safely.
- Invest in a programmable thermostat.
Programmable thermostats offer a convenient way to reduce your heating bill by 10% or more. With a modern Wi-Fi or smart thermostat, you can set a schedule for your thermostat to lower when everyone is away (or asleep), then use your smart phone to adjust it remotely at any point in between.
- Take advantage of passive heating.
If you have rooms in your house that get direct sunlight for part or most of the day, take advantage of that solar gift by keeping curtains open—just be sure to close the curtains again once the sun goes down to retain that heat!
- Keep the heat in, and the cold out.
One of the biggest wastes of energy during the winter occurs as a result of air leaks that let conditioned air out and cold air in. In fact, as much as 30% of the heat you pay for could be escaping through cracks and crevices around doors and windows, and through under-insulated ceilings and walls!
To combat air leaks, consider the following tips:
- Keep windows closed at all times; replace any broken window panes.
- Inspect window frames for cracks; apply caulk wherever necessary.
- Insulate windows by applying plastic wrap over the face of the glass. This helps trap cold air that seeps through the glass and prevents it from entering your home.
- Keep the drapes closed in non-sunny rooms to further block cold air from spreading.
- Replace worn weather-stripping on doors that open to the outside.
- Place towels, blankets, or door sweeps on doors that connect conditioned and unconditioned rooms (the door to your basement or garage, for example).
- Close the flue on the chimney when your fireplace is not in use.
- Close doors and vents in unoccupied rooms.
- Consider getting your ducts sealed by a professional: If you have a forced-air central heating system (one with vents rather than baseboards or radiators), some (about 10 to 12%, on average) of the warm air being pumped out by your furnace is likely being lost through leaks and flaws in your ductwork. Consider having your ducts professionally sealed about every five years.
- Add insulation to your attic and basement. Older northeastern homes are not insulated to proper R-values for the region. Adding insulation to unconditioned rooms like your basement or crawlspace is one of the best investments you can make in energy efficiency.
- Dress warmly.
The more warmly your family dresses, the less they will have to rely on your furnace to keep comfortable. Dress in layers and pay special attention to the feet and head. Use additional layers in the morning or at night to stay warm when it’s coldest.
- Change your energy provider.
Why pay more for your energy than you need to? Switch to Discount Power and you’ll get the same electric and natural gas service for less money. It’s really that simple!
No matter what type of energy you use to heat and cool your home, Discount Power has a plan that can save you money this winter. With options in seven states, ranging from Ohio to Massachusetts, we offer money-saving gas and electric plans backed by exceptional customer service. Contact us today to learn more!