How to Save Energy in the Winter

Living in the Kansas City area we are all aware of the extreme cold temperatures we can experience in the winter months. Not only do we dread the cold weather, but also the high energy bills that result from heating our homes to combat that cold weather! There are a number of energy saving tips you can implement around your home to help combat high heating bills. When you save on energy you not only lower your monthly expense for heating your home, you also lower your impact on the planet and use up less resources. So, let’s talk about some ways to save energy at home!

The heating system in your home is the system that uses the largest amount of energy and also costs the most to run, so by looking at your heating system with energy conservation in mind you can not only save electricity, but also money.

10 Ways to Save Energy At Home in the Winter

Use Free Heat

Solar heat and solar energy is a great (and free!) way to heat up your home! During the day open your blinds and curtains to let the sun shine in and warm up your home, especially on south-facing windows. When the sun goes down be sure to close all your curtains and blinds as this will help lock that heat in your home.

Bundle Up

By putting on a sweatshirt, cozy socks, or covering up with a blanket you should be able to lower your thermostat by a degree or two without a major change in comfort in your home. You may be surprised by the decrease in your heating bill with such a small change on your thermostat and you can feel good about your efforts to conserve energy!

Turn Down Your Thermostat At Night

Another great way to save energy is to decrease the temperature in your home during the nighttime hours when you are sleeping or if you are away from home for work. You may find you can save up to 10% of your heating bill by lowering your thermostat 10-15 degrees for eight hours at night. In order to make sure you are comfortable and warm in these cooler temperatures you might want to get flannel sheets and make sure your comforter is thick enough or add an additional blanket or two. You can invest in a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set times when the temperature will be lowered and raised automatically. So, even if you lower the thermostat while you are away at work you can still come home to a toasty warm house!

Don’t Heat Rooms You Don’t Use

We all have rooms in our home that are not used on a regular basis; it may be a spare bedroom for guests or a storage area. By closing off the vents in these rooms you can redirect more heated air to the areas of the house you utilize daily. This energy saver tip also helps your heating system run more efficiently.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

People tend to think of ceiling fans as being used in the summer to help create a cool breeze. But, if used properly they can help distribute heat within your home, which can help you save on energy and lower your heating bills. Hot air rises, so all the heated air in your home eventually gathers near the ceiling. By setting your ceiling fan to rotate clockwise it will push that heated air to the lower portions of the room where you will be able to feel and utilize that heat. Use the low setting on the fan to gently push the air down without creating a cool breeze.

Maintain Your Furnace

Conservation of energy starts with ensuring your furnace is running efficiently. The air filter on your furnace should be changed monthly and you should check your vents often to verify they are not blocked and clean them when necessary.

Add Moisture To The Air

While it may seem like an unconventional power saver tip, adding moisture to the air is a great way to conserve energy and also make your home more comfortable in the winter months. Moist air not only feels warmer, but it holds heat better. By running a humidifier your home can feel warmer, even if you have lowered your thermostat. You also can get rid of the uncomfortable and dry feeling that comes along with winter air!

Make Sure You Have Adequate Insulation

If your home does not have adequate insulation you may be fighting a losing battle when trying to save  on energy. If you do not have enough insulation you will be unable to keep the warm and heated air in your home and your furnace will be running more often to replace the heated air that is escaping due to the lack of insulation. You can start with checking the weather-stripping around your doors and windows, but you may need to consult a professional if you need to have additional insulation added to the walls of your home.

Do Not Overuse Exhaust Fans

Exhaust fans are useful and necessary in the kitchen and bathroom, but when overused they will pull the heated air out of your home, causing your furnace to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home.

Wrap Your Ducts

By wrapping your ducts you can seal up gaps within the ductwork to prevent the heated air from escaping. This step also insulates the ducts, which reduces the amount of heat lost through the meat ducting. Heating ducts are made of metal, which easily transfers heat. By insulating the ductwork you can ensure more heated air makes it to the living areas of your home and not lost on the way there.

As you can see, there are many steps you can take in the name of energy conservation, which in turn also saves you money on your electric bill. Some of these steps you can likely complete on your own, while others you may need to contact a professional.

A&D Heating & Cooling is available to assist your with all you home heating questions and we also provide energy audits which help you figure out how much heat may be escaping your home, we then work with you to take steps to save on electricity and ensure your furnace is working at peak efficiency. Call us today for an appointment!