Northeastern winters are typically rather harsh, both in terms of temperature and cost, and residents in this part of the country tend to see their utility bills skyrocket during the coldest months of the year. Here at Robaire, our priority as a company is the comfort and happiness of our customers, and seeing as how saving money is a universal harbinger of happiness, we want to help you save as much of it as possible when heating your home this winter. So for your convenience, we’ve put together a list of helpful home heating tips that will help you preserve heat and save money all season long.
1. Keep Doors Shut and Windows Sealed
Doors and windows are the two most common places where air escapes from your home. Leaving either open or even cracked for extended periods of time will allow the hot air you pay for to flow outside and make way for the cold air you’re trying to keep out to enter. This may seem like common sense to your average homeowner, but it never hurts to double check that these entry/exit points are closed and sealed.
2. Look for Drafts and Leaks
While doors and windows are the most obvious places for warm air to escape and cold air to enter, they are by no means the only places this can happen. Air will inevitably make its way through any and all breaches in your home’s exterior, no matter how small, in order to fill a bigger space. Keep an eye out for areas that feel drafty or cooler than the rest of the house, then try to locate the source of the issue and seal off any leaks that you’re able to discover. Even though doors and windows may be shut, their frames are still highly prone to air leakage, so make sure to check that they’re properly sealed as well.
3. Use Your Ceiling Fans
This may seem contradictory given that fans are more often than not used for cooling purposes, but ceiling fans can also help to heat your home more efficiently. Hot air rises no matter where it is, which means a lot of money can be wasted by excessively heating your ceiling in order to warm up the rest of a room. Ceiling fans help by pushing this hot air back down and keeping it moving, thus distributing the heat more evenly and allowing your system to conserve what would be wasted energy.
4. Use Ventilation Fans Sparingly
While traditional ceiling fans help to prevent hot air from rising, ventilation fans do the exact opposite. Commonly found on ceilings in bathrooms and kitchens, these fans work by sucking air in to extract steam or smoke from a room. In doing so, though, they also take hot air from your home along with it by vacuuming it up as it rises. You don’t have to avoid using your ventilation fans altogether, as there will inevitably be situations in which you want and need to use them, but it’s best to try to do so sparingly.
5. Keep Air Vents Clean and Clear
Cleaning your air vents is a good idea no matter what time of year it is, but it is especially important during extreme temperatures when you want to make sure your system is functioning as peak performance. Dirty or obstructed vents can impede said performance and even become a hazard when you’re system is pumping out heat, both of which can result in money wasted.
Insulation is an important added layer of protection for your home that helps to keep the warm air in and cold air out. If your home is poorly insulated you could be wasting a lot of money and heat by making your home that much harder to keep warm. In addition to walls, heating ducts should also be insulated. If you’re not sure whether or not you have insulated heating ducts, you should make it a point to find out and to insulate them if they aren’t already.
7. Let the Sun Help
While the sun might not feel as powerful in winter as in other seasons, it’s still plenty strong enough to provide a good deal of heat whether we realize it or not. Opening your blinds during the day to let the sun in can give your home an added boost of heat from outside. At night, however, it’s important to then close your blinds, as the added heat will disappear with the sun and the windows will once again be a hotspot for air leaks.
8. Use Your Thermostat Wisely
This is another one that feels like it should go without saying, but there’s a lot that goes into proper thermostat usage that a lot of folks may not be aware of. In addition to being more conscious of your temperature settings and generally trying to conserve heat when possible, you should also be wary of common mistakes people make in doing so, such as shutting your system all the way off whenever you leave the house – this actually wastes a lot more energy than it saves due to the amount needed to reboot your whole system and the unnecessary strain that puts on your equipment. The other nine tips all feed into this one, as the more you are doing to preserve your home’s heat, the less you will need to rely on higher thermostat settings.
9. Invest in Smart Home Technology
A great way to ensure you’re using not only your thermostat but your entire system as wisely and efficiently as possible is to invest in home intelligence, or smart home technology, for your residence. This technology allows you to monitor and control your home’s HVAC and other appliances from anywhere at any time via your smartphone, giving you better oversight of all your system’s functions and the ability to adjust them as needed even when you’re not home. This added insight and control will save you from worrying and save you tons of money over time.
10. Regular Upkeep
Regular maintenance is another tip that always applies but becomes considerably more important when it comes to the coldest months of the year. There is a lot that you can do on your own to assist with the upkeep of your system, such as cleaning vents and ducts, clearing debris, switching filters, emptying dehumidifiers, etc. However, it is also recommended that you schedule regular checkups with a trusted HVAC professional. A trained tech will be able to do and see what you can’t, including making recommendations for how you can improve your system and save even more money. Click here or call (215) 269-6590 o schedule an appointment with one of our certified experts here at Robaire.