Home Heating Hacks to Save Money and Energy
Heating your entire home doesn’t have to be a chore. It doesn’t have to be expensive either! Whether you have a five-bedroom house or a quaint little cottage, it is possible to heat your entire dwelling at a reasonable rate and in a way that keeps you cozy and comfortable. Here are some home heating hacks to save money and energy:
Replace Your Air Filter Regularly
Replacing your air filter does more for your home than improve your indoor air quality. It can keep your air ducts open and clear, making it easier to conduct air through your home. The easier you can push warm air throughout your home, the more efficiently you can keep your home warm. And if your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep your home warm, then your energy bill will just naturally be lower.
Make sure that you’re replacing your air filter at least once every quarter, but ideally once every month.
Make Sure Your Air Vents Are Open
In the same way that a clear air filter can make your HVAC system run efficiently and smoothly, open and clear air vents can allow warm air to access all parts of your home. It’s so easy to get comfortable with your air vents facing one direction or having your air vents closed, but being more cognizant of your air vents can make your HVAC system so much more efficient.
Beside the slots in your air vents is a little lever that will let you shift the direction of your vent blades. That lever can close your air vents outright or just alter the airflow. Either way, switching the lever can open the air vent so that the warm air can circulate freely throughout your home. Also be sure that there are no pieces of furniture or decorations covering the air vents.
Seal Your Home’s Air Leaks
An air leak is any opening in your house that allows the warm air from your home to seep out to the outside world. We don’t just mean an open door or open window. These aren’t “leaks” so much as deliberate opportunities for air to flow in and out of your home. These are obvious and don’t have to be hunted down.
An air leak, however, is small and nearly imperceptible. It usually comes in the form of a crack in the sealant around windows or in the weather stripping around exterior-facing doors. Locating these air leaks and sealing them can keep the warm air circulating in your home, keeping you nice and cozy.
Make Use of Your Fireplace
Fireplaces are used more for aesthetics these days than their intended purpose of heating your home. They serve as shelves for family photos or focal points for wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, but people rarely use them for actual fires because of the upkeep. It’s tough to keep a fireplace clean. Soot and ash can blow out into the room, adding to the debris that clogs your air filter and your air ducts, making your HVAC unit run less efficiently.
However, if you can make sure your flue is open all the way and that you have the tools to keep your fireplace neat and tidy as you go (rather than as a weekly chore), then you can heat your home efficiently without putting a burden on yourself or your HVAC system.
Update Your Insulation
Your insulation provides another barrier between you and the outside world. Without it, your thin walls would inevitably allow the chilly air from outside to pass into your home. Think of your insulation like a thick sweater, protecting you from the cold. If your insulation is old or made out of materials that have proven less efficient over time, then it might be time to upgrade your insulation. Having this additional layer can keep the warm air secured in your home, so your HVAC unit doesn’t have to work as hard, saving you money and energy.
Rotate Your Ceiling Fans
Your ceiling fans help circulate the cold air your HVAC unit generates in the summertime. Likewise, they can shoulder some of the effort to heat your home in the wintertime. Simply rotate your ceiling fan blades in the other direction (a small switch at the base of your ceiling fan will enable you to do this) to have the warm air near your ceiling pushed back down to the room. Taking some of the pressure off your HVAC unit to perform can help it run more efficiently and save you money on your energy bill.
Keep Some Throw Blankets Nearby
Of course, there are other ways to stay warm indoors without the use of electricity or firewood. You might just set yourself up to use less energy by staying bundled. In the wintertime, you’re more likely to dress warm anyway (wrapping yourself up in sweaters and long pants). However, you may also consider keeping throw blankets in most rooms in your home. It’s unusual to have a throw blanket in the dining room or kitchen, but it wouldn’t be strange to have a few accessible in the living room, the den, the game room, and all the bedrooms.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of Thick Socks
We lose heat in two major places on our bodies: from our heads and from our feet. You can help protect yourself against the cold without relying too heavily on your home’s energy output. It’s something so simple, you might not have given it the time of day: thick socks. Yes, just wearing thick socks indoors can help you stay warm without feeling the need to crank your furnace on high, raising your energy bill along with it.
Consider Solar Panels
One way to keep your home energy efficient is to consider different energy sources. Rather than relying solely on electricity to heat your home, you can rely on something more constant: the sun. If you have solar panels installed on your roof, you can generate your own energy. In fact, you’ll generate so much energy that your electrical company may end up paying you each month, rather than the other way around.
Like most home upgrades, this may be a big cost upfront, but consider the savings. Consider what you’re doing for the planet. Consider how much better your furnace will heat your home with your own energy source.
Make a Home for a Wind Turbine
In a similar vein to solar panels, you can generate your own energy by harnessing the power of the wind. It’s best to invest in a wind turbine if you live in a windy area so you can get the most out of it as possible. Your energy company is also likely to pay you for the energy your wind turbine produces, and you’ll have enough energy for your own home, so your furnace can work seamlessly.
Install a Smart Thermostat
An option that’s becoming more and more popular is having a smart thermostat installed in your home. A smart thermostat is a great way to program your home’s temperature to rise and fall at specific times. The change is gradual so your HVAC system doesn’t have to work as hard to shift gears, the way it would if you manually changed the temperature a few degrees with no warning (as far as your furnace is concerned).
The cost of a smart thermostat can be hefty upfront, but again, you’ll save quite a few coins in the long run. Talk to one of the Brubaker Inc. representatives about your options here!
Upgrade Your HVAC Unit to a More Energy-Efficient Model
If your HVAC system isn’t running efficiently after taking all these precautions, then it’s possible that your unit is just old and needs to be replaced. Older units have a hard time dealing with our modern demands, for one thing. For two, nothing lasts forever. If your unit is especially old, then it might just be its time to pass over.
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Home Heating Hacks to Save Money and Energy
Talk to one of the professionals at Brubaker Inc. about your options for a new HVAC system. There are tons to consider, several new ones are even more energy efficient than their predecessors. You don’t have to suffer through the cold this winter. Schedule an inspection and free estimate with a Brubaker Inc. HVAC technician today!