PIN IT!In much of the world, winter time means it is time to start up your heating system to keep things inside at a livable temperature. Of course, keeping a home heated is not a cheap proposition. However, if you are clever and willing to work, there are several ways to reduce your energy costs even in the heart of the cold season. Here are some of the most effective ways to lower your energy bills in colder months.
Check Your Windows
A huge portion of the heat loss of a given home occurs through the seals on the windows. Any join, or place where two or more parts connect, in a house’s construction is a potential site for exposure to the outside air, and window joins are notoriously hard to perfect. If you feel a draft when standing by a window, the odds are good that you have a leak along the edges. Use a combination of caulking and weather stripping to stop up the gaps to find your utility bills plunging along with the temperature.
Maintain Humidity Level
Air temperature is only part of the overall comfort equation, however. Overly dry air feels colder than humidified air for a variety of reasons. But the relatively dry air outside in the winter season leads to the leaching of air moisture through gaps and cracks in your house, drying out the air inside. Moreover, any air pulled in through your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (or HVAC) system will be as dry as the air outside. If you find yourself feeling dry inside your house, you will want to consider buying a humidifier system for the entire house, keeping things properly humid inside.
One way to cope with the lowered temperatures in the cold season is to simply add more layers of clothes. Having some spare sets of sweatpants and sweaters for around the house lets you keep the heater on low for much longer than you otherwise would. Of course, not every member of your household may be as enthusiastic about wearing more clothing. Your pets in particular are not really able to throw on warmer gear just because the temperature has dropped.
Maintain Your Furnace
The core of your home’s heat generating ability is the furnace, where your HVAC system warms the air that it then distributes throughout the rest of the house. This is great when it is functioning well; unfortunately, the complicated HVAC system has a lot of parts that can break down if improperly maintained, leading to increased utility bills and eventual system failure. Thankfully, some basic maintenance tasks like replacing old furnace filters and cleaning the air vents can keep your furnace humming long into the life of your home. But be sure to book a professional for a maintenance visit in the months running up to winter to make sure more complex parts are in working order.
High energy costs and a good internal temperature don’t need to go hand in hand. If you keep an eye on your house’s heating system, you can keep things on an even keel without dropping a fortune.