As it continues to get colder, it’s important to ensure that you’re not wasting heat. Here are 10 tips to help you keep your home heated and keep your energy bills low:
1. Use the sun to your advantage
Even in the winter, the sun can warm your home. To maximize this effect, open the curtains to all of your south-facing windows during the day and then close them again at night. This will let in the most amount of heat during the day while keeping the cold out at night.
2. Dress warmly
One of the simplest ways to stay warm this winter is to wear proper clothing while indoors, as well as use other accessories, like blankets. This allows you to stay comfortable while keeping the heat low.
3. Keep your ceiling fans on
If you have ceiling fans, keeping them on in the winter can help you lower your heating costs. Ceiling fans typically have a switch on them that changes the direction it rotates. In the summer, the airflow should be directed down to cool off the room. In the winter, making the fan go in the opposite direction helps heat the room. Air is directed up towards the ceiling and then down the walls, creating a pocket of airflow. This pocket helps retain heat inside of it, meaning your heating system doesn't have to work as hard to heat that area.
4. Lower the thermostat at night
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, lowering your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees at night while you sleep can save you 10 percent on your heating bills. Add another blanket, and keep the thermostat set low.
5. Use a programmable thermostat
Newer thermostats are programmable, allowing you to set temperature levels for specific times of the day. These ensure that your homes get heated efficiently without you having to remember to adjust the thermostat.
6. Clean your furnace
Heating oil furnaces, and the immediate surrounding area, should be kept clean. This is not only a safety concern, but doing so will help it work efficiently and keep heating costs down.
7. Use a humidifier
Moist air holds heat better than dry air. Adding a humidifier to your home will help keep your home be heated efficiently.
8. Add more insulation to your home
Poorly insulated homes loose a lot of heat, causing your heating system to work harder than needed. Adding insulation to exposed areas like unfinished basements and attics can save you a lot of money each winter. Also check the areas around doors and windows and plug any gaps you find.
9. Avoid using exhaust fans
Exhaust fans, like those in bathrooms and kitchens, are important for maintaining air quality indoors, but should be used sparingly in the winter, as they can remove good, warm air as a side effect.
10. Switch to LED lights
If you like decorating your home for the holidays, its best to use LED lights. Not only do they use 75 percent less energy that standard lights, but they last 24 times longer, according to U.S. News.