Ways To Keep Warm And Save Energy This Winter
Want to save energy? Here are several tips to reduce energy consumption and maintain comfortable temperatures in your home this winter:
- Take advantage of the sun by opening up your curtains and blinds to heat your home. Let sunlight in during the day. Once the sun is up, you want to capture as much of that free heat as possible. Even on cold days, the sun is still warm. So before you leave the house for the day, open up those curtains and let the light shine in. If there are certain parts of the house that don’t get sunlight, no need to open those curtains. Just do so where it streams in for a good part of the day.
- Keep curtains closed at night. Once the sun goes down, keep all that heat from leaving through the windows by closing the drapes. If you’re in a particularly cold home or geographic area, consider getting insulated curtains for winter use. They’ll prevent some of the warmth in your home from escaping. You can even put up temporary curtains (or even sheets, rugs, etc.) over doors to the outside, even if just at night while you’re sleeping.
- Take a look at your ceiling fans. If you have ceiling fans in your home, they may be sitting needlessly dormant during the winter months. Many fans have a “winter” setting, which reverses the fan so that it moves clockwise vs. counterclockwise. Since heat rises, the clockwise-spinning fan will push the heat back down into your rooms versus being trapped up at the ceilings. This is especially recommended if you have high or sloped ceilings. Some experts don’t trust the efficacy of doing this, as the fan may just cool the air too much, but try it out on a low speed, and see if it warms the room.
- Move furniture away from vents. You may have unknowingly placed furniture in front of heating vents when you moved in or rearranged. Go around the house and double check that vents aren’t blocked, and if they are, find a way to move your furniture, at least for the winter. This will make sure every room is getting its max heat potential. Blocking return vents in a forced-air central heating system could also cause air pressure issues, which further disrupts the flow of heat.
- Seal other leaks, too. There can be air leaks in your home beyond windows and doors. Think attics, basements (where cements meets the wood frame), even kitchen hood vents.
- Keep certain rooms toasty warm by closing doors. If you spend a lot of time in certain rooms, you can close doors and create a little sauna. I do this with my office, and it works like a charm. I simply leave the door closed at night, let the heat run like normal, and since there aren’t as many gaps for heat to escape, it’s nice and warm in the morning. At times, it even gets too warm. If you have big, open spaces, you can use room dividers; it may not seem like much, but any blockage that keeps air from escaping just a little less quickly will help keep things warmer.
- You can also close doors to rooms that aren’t frequently used in your home — just make sure you also close the vents in those rooms. This sort of acts to lower the heated square footage, and the warm air will spread quicker and easier through the house. As a bonus, this will save a little bit on your heating bill, too.
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