Winter is upon us once again and the one thing that is on every ones mind is how to stay warm during the cold weather. So what can be done to keep you and your family warm while reducing heating costs significantly.
Keeping the doors closed in your home is a great way to reduce some of the heating costs in your home. Why heat a room that is only visited once a month like a guest room. Closing off the vents to the room can help to lower heating costs as well, making more heat for the rooms used more often. It is also more efficient for the furnace to warm several small spaces than to warm one big area at once.
Close windows and curtains
Keeping the drapes closed will help to hold in any warmth and heat that is lost through inefficient windows. It also makes that annoying neighbor across the street wonder what you may be up to. Although double pane windows are common in new construction homes, older homes may not always be fitted with these. If your home has single pane windows then covering them with plastic will help to reduce heat losses in your home, allowing your heating system to warm your home faster.
Insulate your home
Home insulation is what keeps the heat in your home. It is your number one defense against the cold weather outside. Placed in the walls, attic and crawlspace of your home, insulation must be checked at least every two years to make sure that it’s in good shape and protecting you from the cold outside. If you see any gaps in the insulation or spots where the insulation may be missing completely, then replace it ASAP. Not only does this steal valuable warmth from you, but can cause more damage to the wood frame of your home if water leaks in. When looking underneath your home in the crawlspace, be sure to look for any insulation that may be hanging down instead of tucked in up against the flooring of your home.
Check all heating ducts for leaks
While you are under the house be sure to take a look at any heating ducts that may travel underneath your home. Heating ducts carry the heat from the central heating system to each room of the house. When they are not connected properly or have leaks and holes, you lose heat in your home, as well as causing that draft you have been searching for the last few weeks. If any leaks are found, be sure to tape them up with metal backed tape or aerosol sealant. Do not use Duct tape, as this can deteriorate and cause you problems later on.
Turn down the thermostat when at work or sleeping
Turning down your thermostat to a comfortable level will reduce the time that is spent warming your home, reducing your heating bill. For every degree that you turn it down, you save 3% on total heating costs. Just turning down your thermostat from 68F to 65F will save you 9%. If you work away from home, turning down the thermostat to 60F while you are away can be a tremendous saving. If you own a newer home that has a smart thermostat, you can program it to drop the heat even more during the day and have it start warming up the house for you an hour before you get home. When you are sleeping at night you can program the thermostat to turn down while you sleep as well. That is a total of 16 hours a day that you can save money on your heating costs.
No matter what methods you choose to stay warm, it is possible to save money this year on your heating costs.
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George works with Coast Spray Foam Insulation in Vancouver, BC. When he’s not working, he loves carpentry and fixing up old furniture.