Energy Efficient Heating Tips for Winter
Energy Efficient Heating Tips for Homeowners
When the utility bill arrives, there is often a quick twinge of panic and a desire to find Energy Efficient Heating methods to result in energy lower costs. Oh, and if we could find some Energy Efficient Heating hacks that cost absolutely nothing, that would be even better! Well, hang on, because we have a few real Energy Efficient Heating tips. You might not be able to use them all, but see how many will help.
Energy Efficient Heating: Solar Energy Hacks. The sun delivers 10,000 times more energy to the earth than the amount of energy that people use. If you stand in front of a window on a cold, sunny day and you will appreciate passive solar gain. Capturing a portion of the sun’s energy inside your home will save you money.
- Winter sun is low in the sky during the winter and high in the sky in the summer. A low sun pours more sunlight into your home on winter days.
- The sun allowed inside warms the flooring, the furniture, and the walls. This energy radiates into the air in your home, raising the temperature by as much as 150 on a sunny day.
- Windows are the key to solar gain. New double-paned windows trap heat in the space between glass panes and that costs nothing. Open the drapes and blinds during the day on South-facing windows between 9 am and 3 pm on sunny days. Close the drapes and blinds after the sun sets to reduce the amount of heat escaping into the cold, dark night.
Energy Efficient Heating: Fan Hacks. To maximize solar gain, move the free solar heat with ceiling fans. The wintertime setting for ceiling fans turns the fan in a clockwise rotation; this pulls air up and pushes the warm air toward the outside of the room, and potentially into other areas of the house. Set the fan at the lowest speed and move this air around. Also, use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans sparingly. The air being pulled outside is warm, air—the kind of air you are trying to keep indoors.
Energy Efficient Heating: Thermostat Hacks. The thermostat is a switch that turns the heat on or off based on a pre-determined temperature setting. All but the oldest thermostats are programmable; that is, you can program the switch to change the temperature on a timed schedule. How does that help?
- Be slow to switch the heat (or AC) on at the season change. Develop a little tolerance for a cooler temperature setting. Set the temperature at the lowest comfortable setting for your family.
- The EPA has demonstrated that if you lower your thermostat setting by 7 to 10 degrees for a minimum of 8 hours, you will save 10% on your heating bill.1 That does not cost a thing and you enter the scheduled changes only one time.
- There are two ideal times to program a reduction in temperature for 8 hours: overnight, while everyone is sleeping, and during the day, while the whole family is away from home. Try a few different schedules to see which works for your family.
Energy Efficient Heating: Appliance Hacks. Some of your household appliances create significant heat for cleaning and cooking. Wash dishes and clothes later in the day to fully appreciate the heat they generate. Exhaust the hot, moist air produced by showers during the summer, but retain it in the winter as much as possible. Cook and bake to your heart’s content on cold days; exhaust only the most disagreeable cooking odors.
Energy Efficient Heating: Maintenance Hacks. Make sure to follow your manufacturer’s user guides concerning regularly scheduled preventative maintenance visits; annual maintenance is usually the guideline. Be sure to change your air filter regularly, at least every three months. These steps keep your HVAC system functioning efficiently and this saves you money.
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