Keep the heat in and the cold out this winter
January 12, 2015
Keeping the heat and the cold in their respective places this winter is good for your health and your wallet. While wearing more layers, sipping warm soup and keeping the fireplace stoked are ways to keep your body warm, you want to make sure cold drafts aren't getting in your home. And just as importantly, you don't want those drafts to pull warm air out.
While you're running your heat in winter, drafts can work against your furnace, causing it to run more frequently and you to spend more overall. If you have serious problems, such as leaks or lack of insulation, consider having those issues addressed. You aren't doing yourself any good in winter if your home is working as hard as it can to stay warm. Additionally, having modern updates to ensure your home is energy efficient will be advantageous when you're considering a home insurance quote.
If there are slight drafts here and there and you are just looking to cut down on energy costs for the next few months, there are ways you can keep the drafts out without spending a lot of money. Just keep the following tips in mind:
- Sunlight is crucial: The sun sets earlier in winter than it does in the summer, so you have less opportunity to soak up its rays. However, you should let as much sunlight in as you can during the day. Open all your blinds or curtains and let the light warm your home. And once the sun goes down for the evening, close your curtains. Thick curtains are the best because they will catch most of the drafts that are getting through, and drafts can cause more heat to escape than you realize. Even if there is a bit of a draft, the sunlight will overpower it.
- The chimney can work against you: Sitting around a fire can be very warm, but when the fireplace is not in use, warm air can be sucked up through the open chimney flue. When you are not using your fireplace this winter, close it up.
- Keep radiators and filters clean: Change your furnace filters every month. Similarly, make sure your radiators are clean. If there is build up, then less hot air can get through. You want your heating system to give off as much heat as possible. Restricted air flow means your heating system has to work harder to push out enough heat to reach the temperature of your thermostat. This will use more energy than you need to keep your home warm.
- Forget your bathroom fans: During winter months, using your bathroom fans to remove steam and condensation from the bathroom is counterproductive. This also pulls hot air out of the room. Instead, open your bathroom door and let the warm, moist air drift to other parts of the house. This moist air will stay longer and be warmer than if you pull it out.
Many people find the colder months are an easier time to save money than the warm months because they spend more time inside, drive less frequently and generally go out less often. Don't let what should be your cost-saving months to work against you by wasting energy during winter.