We depend on our heating systems to keep the indoor temperature comfortable during the winter months. No matter what kind of heating system you have, it is important to perform routine maintenance to help it run optimally. Beyond this, there are some free or inexpensive and easy ways to stay warm this winter while keeping your heating bills low. Check out these six ways to heat your home efficiently.
1. Program Your Thermostat
If you don’t have one, consider installing a programmable thermostat to preset temperatures at different times. This way you don’t have to spend as much energy on heating your home when no one is there. By setting the temperature a few degrees lower during the times you are at work or sleeping, you can save some money on your heating bill.
2. Add Insulation to Heat Your Home Efficiently
Since heat rises, a lot of the warm air in your home can get lost through the attic and roof. Heat your home efficiently by installing extra insulation in the attic. It can be a DIY job, or you could hire a professional to install it if you are not comfortable. If you decide to do it yourself, wear protective clothing and a mask.
3. Beat the Stack Effect
In the same way that the rising heat from a lit candle draws colder air to it, a heated building pulls cold air in from outside the house. It’s known as the “stack effect” in physics. Reduce this effect by eliminating spaces where cold air can enter your home. Seal around your doors with weatherstripping and door sweeps available at home improvement stores. Gaps around windows can also be sealed with caulk or weatherstripping. Sealing air leaks can result in up to 30% savings on energy bills.
4. Cover Windows with Plastic
Heat your home efficiently by creating a pocket of air over windows as an effective insulator. Inexpensive kits are available that allow you to use plastic film along with a hair dryer to create instant window insulation. The plastic is practically invisible. It comes in rolls, and you can cut it to fit glass patio doors, too.
5. Put the Drapes to Work
Heavy drapes and curtains give an extra layer of insulation to your windows, but keep them open on sunny days. The heat that comes from the sun can help heat your home efficiently. Close the drapes after sunset to help keep the colder night air out.
Consider replacing thin or flimsy curtains with insulating drapes. Since insulating windows cuts energy costs, these improvements will pay for themselves.
6. Reverse the Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans spin counterclockwise to move air around and give a cooling effect in warm weather. To heat your home efficiently in winter, flip the toggle to the clockwise position. Reversing the blade rotation pushes warm air downward. This tip is especially useful in homes with cathedral or high ceilings.