January is typically the coldest month in our area, which means for many of us that our thermostats will be switched from the usual “AC” mode to “heat.” With another cold front on the way, it is important to ensure that your home is being heated properly while not wasting any money in the process. Your household budget is just as essential as being comfortable in your home. Here are some tips to help reduce energy consumption and costs:
- Use a programmable thermostat. Programming temperature settings and times can help lower costs while still making your home cozy. For example, on a work day when no one is home for most of the day, you can lower the heat to 62 degrees, and then an hour before you get home, you can have it automatically programmed to turn up several degrees warmer. Same with bedtime: have it programmed so that once you’re asleep and under the blankets, the thermostat is lowered, and then a little while before you wake up, you can set it a few degrees warmer so that it’s more comfortable to get out of bed.
- Don’t let heat escape. This can be done by caulking, weather stripping, applying window film on certain windows, and checking for any cracks around doors or windows. Also check for heat loss around the dryer vents or electrical wall plates.
- If your water heater is warm, wrap an insulated water heater blanket to preserve the heat.
- Change filters on a regular basis.
- Decreasing the thermostat just one degree can save around five percent of your energy consumption.
- Open blinds for the windows on the south side of the house during the day to capture more sunlight (Shiley, n.d.).
- Close air vents in unused rooms so that the heat is only traveling to areas in the house where you and are your family are in, saving energy consumption
- Put ceiling fans on low speed on the reverse setting. This will help to circulate the heat throughout the room (remember, warm air rises, and collects near the ceilings) (Reynolds, 2017).
Reynolds, D. (2017). Ways to Reduce Heating Bills this Winter. Retrieved from http://news.aces.edu/blog/2017/02/01/ways-to-reduce-heating-bills-this-winter/
Shiley, D. (n.d.). Don’t Waste Energy this Winter. Retrieved from http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/over/101124.html