Seasons Come and Go
The seasonal clock keeps ticking and turning. The spring gives say to summer and now the fall has stepped aside for winter. The cold has arrived and adjustments will be necessary. You can move the thermostat the opposite way from the summer setting and your HVAC system will respond. Just to make sure, here are 10 ways to make sure your house is warm in the winter.
If you have lived with other people for any length of time, you know there are often varying ideas of what it means to be warm. The amount of daily movement, setting of the thermostat, amount of clothing, and levels of humidity all impact how people perceive warmth.
Setting the temperature during the day between 70-72ºF is about average. Setting it down during the night between 60-69ºF is a national average for winter. These set points will fluctuate based on your location, construction of your home, and personal preference.
But, with of these variables and other people to consider in the setting of the thermostat, how do you save money? How can you maintain everyone’s comfort and still reduce your energy expenditure. Well, often we just have to pay the bill. But, there are some things that can be done to ease the pain of shelling out another payment.
Things you can do:
- If you have a fireplace, use it. The kind of heat produced from wood is very healthy. It will dry up any excessive humidity and your heating system won’t have to peak out all the time. When you are not using your fireplace, make sure the damper is closed off.
- Your vents are very important in the circulation of air throughout the house. Make sure no furniture, boxes, or other objects are blocking these vents.
- Check the seals of your home. Inspect around doors, windows, ductwork, floors, and ceilings for cracks and other openings that are allowing cold air in and warm air out. Seal these up and try to create a closed outside envelope.
- Close the doors to areas of the home that are not often used or never occupied. If you happen to stay in one area of the house all day long, close the doors to that room also.
- Determine which side of the house gets the most sun during the day. Raise the blinds and pull back the curtains on the side that gets the most sun. The sun will come through those windows and keep those areas warmer.
- Wear layers of clothing that can be taken off or put back on during the day.
- Use rugs on the floor, especially if you have wood, linoleum, or concrete flooring. Between 7-10% of heat loss can happen through floors and rugs will prevent some of this.
- Set the thermostat and then lower it by 1ºF each week or two weeks. This will be a gradual decrease in the set point that will go relatively unnoticible. Bodies and personalities will adapt to the almost imperceptible change in one degree and the savings will become apparent after a while.
- Don’t use the exhaust fans in the kitchens and bathrooms as much. These fans get rid of smells, but they are also exhausting warm air. If you must use them, make sure to turn them off as soon as you can.
- Operate your ceiling fans in reverse. Hot air rises. The fans will propel the hot air back down to you!
Doing these things will lower your energy expenditure. It is worth the extra work to make that happen!