As nighttime temps begin to dip below freezing, we’ve all finally given in and switched over from air conditioning to heat. But keeping warm during those bitter winter days and nights can get expensive fast.
Stay Warm and Save Money with These Tips From Conditioned Air Solutions
- Get a Tune-Up
Have your furnace tuned up by a Comfort Specialist at the beginning of the heating season. This can lead to significant savings on your heating bill all winter long. It can also help to keep your family safe from hazards like carbon monoxide. Ready to upgrade? A new, more energy-efficient heater can save you even more money over the long run.
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- Turn Down That Thermostat
Like Dad always says, if you’re cold, put on a sweater! The Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat at 68 degrees during the day Also turn it down another 10 degrees from your usual daytime setting when you leave the house. A programmable thermostat can make this even easier by remembering to turn down the temperature for you.
- Heat Your Home, Not the Great Outdoors
Seal up the cracks around doors and windows with caulk or weather-stripping. Do this to prevent heat from escaping. When you’re not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is tightly closed. Need extra protection against drafts? The Department of Energy recommends using plastic film to cover your windows as well as heavy insulating curtains. Adding insulation, especially to older homes, can also significantly decrease your heating bill–by up to 30%!
- Stay Merry and Bright
This one isn’t about saving money on heat, but it’s still an important winter issue! During the holidays, choose LED string lights instead of incandescent ones. According to Time Magazine, lighting your tree with LEDs instead of traditional lights can decrease your electricity cost from $10 to 27 cents. Now imagine how much that could save on all those lights you’re putting on the outside of the house, too!
- Be aware of peak billing times
Typically evening and night for winter and during the day for summer. This is when energy is used most and the energy companies are trying to keep up with demand. In winter, keep that robe on hand and get your flannel sheets out!
Even More Tips to Avoid a High Power Bill
Every winter, as the outside temperatures drop, the heating bills begin to rise. And we all know that one way to save money on those bills is to turn down your thermostat a few degrees. But you don’t always want to sacrifice your comfort for the sake of cash in your pocket. Here are some simple tricks that can help keep your toes toasty without costing you an arm and a leg.
5 Tips to Keep the Heat In
- Use Your Windows Wisely: During the day, open the blinds or curtains on any windows that get direct sunlight and let that free, all-natural solar power warm your home. But when the sun sets, cover those windows back up to keep the heat inside. Thick, heavy curtains can be especially effective “blankets” for your home.
- Use Your Fireplace Sparingly: Wood-burning fireplaces are very inefficient sources of heat for your home. Although they heat the area directly in front of the fireplace, eventually all that heat goes up the chimney, and that creates a draft that draws even more cold air into your house. When you’re not using the fireplace, make sure the damper is tightly closed—otherwise, it’s essentially an open window.
- Use Your Oven Frequently: Winter is a great time to do some baking! When you cook with your oven, heat from it will warm your kitchen and nearby rooms. This is also why you want to avoid using the oven too much in the summer time.
- Use Your Ceiling Fan…in Reverse: Switching your ceiling fans over to winter mode will reverse their direction (from counter-clockwise to clockwise). This change will push warm air from the ceiling down towards the floor, which can be especially helpful in those hard-to-heat rooms with high ceilings.
- Use Your Hands to Seal Up Cracks: Caulking and weather-stripping around your windows can keep the heat inside your home. Another common source of drafts is the gap underneath your exterior doors. Buy or make a “door snake” (or what the Brits more charmingly call a “sausage dog”) to place along the base of your exterior doors. According to BBC News, you can cheaply and easily make two of these “dogs” by cutting the legs off a pair of tights and stuffing each of them with old socks or dried beans.