Keeping your home warm during the winter shouldn’t leave your wallet hurting. With winter just around the corner, Southern Californians are just now thinking of when to start up their heaters.
While we all enjoy a nice, toasty home, we don’t especially enjoy the inflated utility bills. Here are some of our favorite ways to keep heating bills down this winter.
The Most Effective Ways to Keep Heating Bills Down:
1. Seal Any Air Leaks
Air leaks are responsible for 25% to 40% of your energy bill. That’s a lot of money literally flying out the window every month.
There’s an easy way to take care of this, the problem is that it just takes time. Designate a day when you have nothing else to do and investigate your window, doors, and light fixtures. Look for any damaged weatherstripping and replace it.
Next, it’s time to check the doors. Fix any weatherstripping that’s out of place and look for any cracks around the doorframe. Do the same for your light fixtures and you’ll be saving some money on your next heating bill.
2. Leave the Curtains Open
The sun shines even when it’s cold out! This is important to keep this in mind over the cold winter months.
During the summer, we recommend closing your curtains during the day to keep the heat out. However, during the winter, we say keep those curtains open all day to let the natural light and warmth in. Then close them when the sun goes down.
3. Dress for the Season
Now is the best time of year for comfy sweatpants and a hoodie. What about that oversized sweater? You can finally pull it out from the back of the closet! One of the best ways to keep warm is to dress for the season.
You can also apply this theory to dressing your bed and couch. Choose flannel sheets to help stay warm at night and add an extra blanket for a nice layer or warmth.
Dressing in layers helps your body retain heat. You can also shed a layer or two if you get too warm. Also, don’t forget slippers. Keeping your feet toasty can help your whole body feel warm.
4. Check Your Air Filter
Far too often we go into homes and see an air filter that’s hanging on for dear life. The air filter is a small, but mighty, part of your HVAC system.
An air filter preforms two essential jobs. It keeps dust from settling in your HVAC system and traps airborne contaminates in your treated air. In the process of doing both these jobs, the HVAC filter can become incredibly full.
When the filter is overfull, air can’t easily pass through it. This blockage forces your furnace to work twice as hard to push warm, treated air through a stuffed air filter. This extra output will make your energy bill go up.
Instead, regularly check your air filter every month or so to see if it needs to be replaced. How often you replace your air filter will depend on the type of air filter you have and the area you live in.
A thin, fiberglass filter is unable to catch many small particles and can get easily clogged. A stronger filter, like a pleated filter, can last longer and trap more particles.
5. Close the Doors
Is there a bathroom or room in your home that doesn’t see much use? Make sure to close the door when your central heating is on. Or simply close the bathroom door after every use.
Closing the door to that room will keep it nice and toasty. Meaning your HVAC system won’t need to constantly create new, warm air for that room.
By letting warm air just hang out in the room, it sends a signal to your furnace to not produce as much warm air. This gives your system a chance to rest and can help keep heating bills down.
6. Check Your Insulation
You know the stuff in the attic that looks like cotton candy? It actually plays a big role in how comfortable your home is throughout the year.
Insulation helps keep the core of your home nice and cozy. It absorbs cold air that can seep into the attic. An important note about insulation, it does have a lifespan.
If you recently moved into a new home or can’t even remember the last time you had your insulation checked, we suggest calling in an HVAC professional. They can inspect your insulation and give you any recommendations.
7. Use the Oven
One of our favorite ways to generate heat in the home is to cook up something delicious. Cooking something on the stove or roasting some food in the oven can act as an alternative or extra heat source.
Getting the family together and cooking a meal is one of our favorite ways to bond. And it’s an added bonus that everyone gets to stay cozy and warm at the same time.
Also, if you’ve cooked or baked something in the oven, be sure to leave the oven door open. This allows for more heat to escape and warm your home.
8. Turn Down the Thermostat
This one may sound a little counterintuitive but hear us out. According to energy.gov, the most energy efficient winter thermostat setting is 68 degrees. Yes, we’re aware that sounds like a low number, especially in Southern California.
Your furnace can only heat a specific amount of air at a time and depending on the size of your home, it could be a while before everything is nice and toasty. 68 degrees is enough to keep your home warm and comfortable without going overboard. Just remember to dress for the season.
9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace
There’s something special about a nice fire on a cold night. If your home has a fireplace, you’re lucky, but you also need to be careful about wasting warm air.
When you’re not running a nice warm fire, make sure the damper in your chimney is closed. Warm air can easily escape and get lost through the chimney.
Just make sure you know how to open and close the damper because a closed damper with a flame in the fireplace means your home will be full of smoke.
10. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
One of the best things you can do to prepare your system for the coming season is to schedule a furnace tune-up. During a tune-up, a certified HVAC technician will inspect every part of your furnace.
During this inspection, they will test the parts and make sure everything is in proper working order. Techs will let you know if anything needs to be repaired or replaced.
Tune-ups are the best way to ensure the longevity of your system. With regular maintenance, an HVAC technician can catch any small problems before they become big, hard to fix, issues.
To learn more about how you can keep heating bills down, or to schedule a tune-up, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.