We’re in the heart of winter, and it is cold outside. When I pulled out of the garage this morning, my car thermostat read only seven degrees. Fortunately, my home was nice and warm, but it wasn’t always that way. A few years ago my house was impossible to keep warm in the winter, and it cost me a fortune to keep me and my family comfortable. That spring, I did my research, and I discovered some tips to help keep my house warm and my energy bills lower.
Look for Melting Snow
After a snowfall, I can always tell which of my neighbors have high heating bills. And how do I do that? I look at their roofs. Specifically, I look for melting snow. If the snow on their roof is melting (and they have icicles having from their eaves), then I know that their home isn’t well-insulated. Heat is leaking out of the home, into their attic, and out of their roof, causing the melting snow.
As we all know, heat rises. The warm air coming from your HVAC system will rise to the ceiling, and if your attic isn’t well-insulated, the heat will rise right out of your roof. There are a couple of things you can do to prevent this from happening. First of all, make sure your attic has plenty of insulation blown in up there. This is the most important thing you can do to help prevent heat loss through the roof. Second, I have ceiling fans in almost every room of the house. This keep the air moving around, and helps prevent the warm air from settling near the ceiling.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Another way I’ve found to help save some money during the winter is by upgrading your thermostat. I have a terrific digital thermostat with built-in timers that I’ve programmed to automatically adjust the temperature based on my schedule. About an hour before I wake up each morning, my thermostat warms my home up to about 74, so that my wife and I don’t have to get out of a warm bed into a cold house. When I leave for work, my thermostat lowers the house to 68, since no one needs the house to be too warm. About a half hour before I get home, the thermostat kicks in again, warming the house to 70. Since my wife and I like the temperature a little cooler while we sleep, the thermostat drops down to 68 again for bed time. It’s super convenient, and my furnace isn’t running and wasting energy when I’m not home to use it.
Show Your Furnace Some Love
The last thing you can do to help keep your home comfortable and save yourself some money this winter is to show your furnace some love. By that, I mean make sure your filters are clean. Maybe that doesn’t come as a surprise, coming from a guy who sells filters, but just think about it – if your furnace filter is clogged and filled with dust and dirt, the air can’t get through as well, reducing air flow through your HVAC system, and your furnace isn’t blowing as much warm air back into your house as it should be. So warming your home takes longer, your furnace has to run longer, and your energy costs increase. By simply making sure that your furnace is clean, you can ensure that you’re not overworking your system and costing you more money to warm your home