As temperatures plummet, utility costs can soar. However, with just a few easy steps, you can make your home heating systems more energy-efficient, helping you to save money throughout the winter season.
- Check your thermostat. You can save roughly 3% on your heating bill for every degree you turn down your thermostat. For highest efficiency, install a thermostat that includes a timer. You can set the timer to automatically lower the temperature of your home while you are gone at work or while you are sleeping.
- Clear your vents. Always check to make sure your heating vents are free from obstruction. Placing furniture, rugs or curtains in front of a vent (including intake vents) prevents the air from circulating properly.
- Close that fireplace. Keeping your damper open when your fireplace is not in use is like opening a huge hole in your roof. Always close the vents between uses.
- Turn off the fans. Do you use fans in your bathroom or kitchen? A hard-working fan can expel the warm air from your house in just one hour. Make sure you turn the fans off as soon as they have finished their jobs.
- Use your curtains. Help your house naturally heat itself by opening your south-facing curtains during the day (which allows solar radiation to heat the space). Close the curtains at night to keep the heat trapped inside the house.
- Adjust your water heater. The simple act of lowering the temperature on your water heater (to around 115-120 degrees) can substantially reduce its energy use without any noticeable difference in the temperature of your water.
- Check your filters. Replace the air filter in your furnace about once a month to prevent clogging. Keeping a clean filter (and a regularly tuned furnace) can save you anywhere from 3-10% on your heating bill.
- Change your showerhead. Installing a low-flow or water-efficient showerhead can decrease the use of hot water by 25-50%. This decrease will help you save on both your water and power bills with little noticeable difference to the user.