Try these six quick and easy energy-saving solutions:
- Use the sun.
Open south and west facing blinds/draperies to let in radiant sunlight and take a load off your furnace. You’ll give your home some natural heat during the day that will make warming up your home easier at night.
- Check your home for leaks and trapped air problems.
Check your ducts for air leaks and seal any leaks you find with heat-approved tapes rather than cloth-backed. You’ll also want to make sure radiators, baseboard heaters, warm-air registers and A/C vents aren’t blocked by furniture or curtains.
- Use your fireplace to stay warm.
Your fireplace will help you stay warm and let you turn your thermostat down. But even better, close the damper on your fireplace after you’ve finished using it and trap the hot air in your home instead of letting it escape. And, of course, keep the damper closed when you aren’t using it.
- Clean your furnace.
Your home’s furnace, like any piece of machinery, needs regular maintenance to perform at its best. The most important routine maintenance you can perform on your furnace is changing or cleaning your furnace’s air filters when they get dirty. Not only can clogged or dirty air filters block air flow and cause your furnace to work harder to pump warm air throughout your house, but dirty air that gets past a filter can make its way into the fan section of the furnace and damage components. Changing or cleaning your filters regularly will help you increase the efficiency and life expectancy of your furnace while helping you cut energy costs.
- Run your ceiling fans.
By setting your ceiling fans to run clockwise, you can use them to help circulate the warm air in a room, save energy, and increase your comfort. The hot air pooling at the top of the ceiling will be forced to the outer edges of your rooms and then be forced down along the walls to the floor. After the air hits the floor, it will travel toward the center of the room and then back up through the ceiling fan once again. This will help equalize the temperature of the entire room, saving you energy costs.
- Turn back your thermostat a few — or 15 — degrees.
When you’re at home and awake, turn down your thermostat to 68°F. When you’re not home or at night – try and take it down by 15°F of what you would normally find comfortable. If you’re not home, that seems easy enough and you can use your programmable thermostat to slowly warm your house back up right before you get home. At night, you might have to seriously bundle up when you go to bed to make it work. But according to the U.S. Department of Energy, you’ll save 10-15% off your heating bill if you consistently turn back your thermostat by 10-15°F for at least 8 hours a day.