Managing heating costs is always a challenge during the winter. Experts expect that inflation and global turmoil will cause a winter heating cost spike of 30% globally.
Improving heating efficiency is no longer about saving a few dollars and living an eco-friendly lifestyle; it’s an issue of survival for some people. Here are six tips for improving winter home heating efficiency this year.
Consider a Heating Upgrade
The average heating system has a lifespan of 15-20 years when well maintained. However, technology has advanced exponentially in recent years. There are new types of heating systems to consider and more efficient models that require less fuel or electricity to operate.
Unfortunately, the increase in home heating costs isn’t expected to level out anytime soon. Upgrading your outdated heating system now could pay for itself in savings over the next few years. This upgrade will also increase the resale value of your home if you plan to sell.
Use a Draft Detector
Finding and sealing drafts in your home could mitigate heat loss this winter. You can purchase or rent a draft detector (also known as a thermal leak detector) to find and seal drafts that are draining your heat.
Use weather stripping and silicone to help reseal windows and doors to prevent drafts. Consider using a removable rope sealant to seal windows shut for the winter. You can easily peel this off and open the windows in the spring. Double this strategy with window film for extra insulation.
Outlets are another unexpected source of drafts. You can purchase foam cutouts to place behind your outlet covers.
Capitalize on Residual Heat
Take advantage of residual heat from cooking. After baking or cooking a meal, leave the oven door open to cool. The residual heat from the oven will disperse into the home and mitigate your energy consumption.
Use the exhaust fan to remove moisture from the air while cooking to offset a chill from the humidity. Remember to turn it off when finished so you don’t suck out the heat!
Use a Smart Thermostat
Installing a smart thermostat can help you take control of your heat consumption. These devices let you set schedules and adjust your thermostat remotely. You can adjust your program so that the temperature is lower while you’re at work or sleeping.
Smart thermostats also analyze your consumption and offer data-driven feedback to improve heating efficiency.
Insulate Your Attic
Like windows, the attic is a prime source of heat loss. Check your attic every fall to ensure you still have sufficient insulation for the winter. When you look at the joists at eye level, you should be able to see insulation. If you can’t, it’s time to add more.
Improve Your Airflow
Improving the airflow in your home will help with heat distribution and prevent cold spots. Start by turning your ceiling fans clockwise and setting them to the lowest speed. This setting will push warm air back to the ground as it rises. If you have a multi-story home, it’s worth installing a remote-operated fan over the stairs.
Moving furniture away from the walls can also help improve airflow for better heat distribution. Close vents and doors in minimally-used rooms to ensure the heat is going where it’s needed the most.
With these simple tips, you can prepare your home for winter and get the most out of your hard-earned money.