In Florida, now is the time of year we switch our thermostats from cool to heat or start using the fireplace on chilly nights. But how do you know that your heating systems are working at their best? Here are five tips for heating your home efficiently this winter.
- For optimum efficiency, set your thermostat to 68⁰F when you’re at home and lower it to 58⁰F or 52⁰F when you’re out of the house or asleep. Worried that your heating system has to work harder to heat up your home after the temperature has dipped significantly? That’s a myth! Keeping the temperature low in your home actually slows the rate at which your house loses heat the environment, which increases your overall energy efficiency (US Department of Energy 2015b).
- Stop heat from leaking out of your house. Seal areas around doors and windows where warm air might escape. Learn more about sealing your home and fixing leaks in your duct system.
- Replace your HVAC filters on schedule (US Department of Energy 2015a). A clogged filter makes it harder for warm air to circulate in your home. Have trouble remembering to change the filter? Use the arrival of your monthly utility bill as a reminder!
- Who doesn’t love a hot shower on a cold morning? But did you know that 13 to 17% of your energy bill comes from heating water? For greatest efficiency, set your water heater to 120⁰F (Porter, Ruppert, and Cantrell 2015). Find out more about efficient water heaters.
- A crackling fireplace can be a cozy, back-to-basics alternative to other home heating systems. However, if you don’t have experience with wood-burning fireplaces, read Safe Home Use of Firewood to avoid the risks associated with this heating method.
Porter, Wendell A., Kathleen C. Ruppert, and Randall A. Cantrell. 2015. Energy Efficient Homes: Water Heaters. FCS3277. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Accessed December 4, 2015. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fy1025
US Department of Energy. 2015a. “Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips.” Accessed December 4, 2015. http://energy.gov/energysaver/fall-and-winter-energy-saving-tips
US Department of Energy. 2015b. “Thermostats.” Accessed December 4, 2015. http://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats
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