During winter, the main concern we have in our homes is warmth, and the amount of energy that it requires to heat them. Heating and cooling use more energy and money than any other system in our homes, with almost half our energy bills used for that purpose. According to The Department of Energy, “The average American household spends around $2,000 on energy costs each year – and about 45 percent of those costs are heating-related.” More informative information from The Department of Energy is available HERE.
Here are a few tips that can help lower your heating bill, increase the temperature in your home, and lower the impact your heating has on the world.
1. Look out, drafts!
Look for any drafts in your house and seal them. Light a candle or incense and hold it up to doors and window frames. If the candle flame flickers or the smoke of the incense flows towards the window, there is a draft there. Use caulk or weather stripping to seal the drafty areas. Use a draft stopper at the bottom of your doors to keep cold air from seeping under the door and into the house.
Also be sure to check any electrical outlets on walls that lead outside the house. If there’s a draft, cover the outlet with felt or another thick material.
2. Install a programmable thermostat that increases the temperature when you’re home and lowers the temperature during the times when you don’t need higher temps, such as when you’re asleep or away. Be sure to turn the thermostat down to 60 degrees for those times.
3. Use heavy drapes or curtains in the winter. A heavy material in front of the windows will block out the cold air that can come in through the glass. If you already have drapes, consider sewing a heavy material to the backside for the winter months.
4. Invest in warm flannel or fleece sheets and comforters, like the OMI wool comforter. Check out the OMI wool comforter and accessories HERE.
5. Install ceiling fans or place fans near heater vents to help circulate heat throughout the house.
Note: Make sure ceiling fans are rotating in the right direction for each season. In the winter the fan should rotate clockwise, which will push cold air up and pull the warmth down.
6. Use only one door when coming and going from your home. When you enter or exit each time the door is open, there is heat loss. If you minimize the heat loss to one particular area it can limit the effect on the entire house.
7. Close doors to rooms you don’t use to concentrate the heat in main living areas.
8.To help save energy, set your water heater at or below 120 degrees. Typically, a 10-degree reduction can lower your heating bill by 5%.
9. Be sure to insulate your water heater and insulate any exposed pipes. This can reduce heat losses by up to 45% and lower your heating bill up to 9%.
10. Don’t underestimate the power of warm clothing. Get out the cozy sweaters, slippers, and blankets. Dress in layers, wearing long underwear next to your skin. This will significantly help keep you warm and cozy.