5 Ways to Save Energy in Your Home This Winter
With the cold weather of late fall and winter almost here, many of us are looking for ways to keep our homes heated and comfortable throughout the season without using an excessive amount of energy. Obvious ideas like checking and adding insulation, upgrading the heating system, and sealing doors and windows come to mind, but what are some other things you can do to keep your energy bill minimal while keeping the entire household warm and comfy?
1. Switch to a Woodstove or Fireplace
Perhaps the best way to save money during the winter is to switch to fire-based heating systems like wood burning stoves or fireplaces. Of course, other than the cost of the wood and transporting it, the heat you get from a fire is pretty much free, and it can stay burning from the morning straight into the night. Furthermore, if you have an axe or a chainsaw and the might to get the job done, you can easily chop your own wood for even more cost savings.
2. Stop Using Old Fashioned Heaters and Central Heating Systems
If fire-based heating is not an option in some of the rooms in your home, at least try not to use the older space heaters and wall-mounted heaters that are typically huge energy hogs. Unfortunately, many homes are still equipped with less-than-efficient central heating systems., which not only consume an inordinate amount of electricity, but also contribute to indoor air pollution due to the collection of dust and fibers in the venting systems, which also presents the hassle of having to clean and maintain all of the necessary filters.
3. If You Have to Use Heaters, Pick Energy Efficient Models
Now that you’ve abandoned the heaters that have been jacking up your bill for so long, head to your local hardware store or look online for some of the most energy efficient modern models you can find. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference upgrading your heaters can make when you’re examining your utility bill at the end of the month.
4. Only Heat Rooms You’re Using
One common mistake made in the winter is to heat the entire house, even though only a few rooms are actually being used. It might create a slight inconvenience because you’ll have to wait for the other rooms to warm up when you do decide to use them, but this is a minor annoyance when you consider how much energy can be saved by leaving those rooms without heating while they’re uninhabited. For example, there’s no reason to have the bathroom and bedroom heaters running when everybody is in the living room.
5. Use Blankets and Warm Clothing to Reduce Dependency on Heating
Most of us underestimate the human body’s ability to generate and retain body heat when equipped with something as simple as a thick blanket or jacket. Insulate yourself with robes, hoodies, blankets, scarfs, hats, and other accessories that will keep you from having to heat the home to 70 degrees just to feel comfortable. Instead, you’ll be able to bring the temperature to only 55-65 degrees and you’ll still feel much warmer than it is outside on most winter days.
Become Familiar with Energy Costs
In closing, once you’ve started heeding all of the above tips, it’s also a good idea to go ahead and research the cost of heating in your home based on the energy ratings of your heaters and heating system. Depending on your current knowledge and the components used in your heating system, you might need to consult with an energy specialist to get an accurate assessment of how much you’re paying to heat each square foot of your home.