The colder weather is once again drawing nearer and with it comes the extra expense of keeping warm which, in turn, puts extra strain on the environment. We’ve put together 10 easy tips that will help keep the temperature up, lower energy bills and reduce your environmental impact during the winter months.
1. Keep your fireplace damper closed
When not using your fireplace it’s essential to keep the damper closed to conserve heat. If left open, the nature of hot air rising will cause all the warm air in the room to shoot up the chimney and right out of your house.
2. Leave the oven door open after using
Cooking food in an oven produces a lot of heat, much of which doesn’t actually get used to cook your food. Once you’ve finished baking those cookies, you have what is essentially a box full of hot air. Leave the oven door open and this will rise into the room. Depending on the size of your kitchen or home, this can produce a surprising amount of quick heat.
3. Check your heating ducts
A home that uses ductwork to move heated air and can lose up to 60% efficiency if that ductwork isn’t connected property. A professional inspection is a wise investment at around $100 and is much more affordable than paying for wasted energy from heating a home inefficiently.
4. Have your furnace serviced annually
An annual service for your heating system is strongly recommended. It’s better to have the peace of mind knowing you are heating your home efficiently and safely and that the furnace is going to work throughout the winter without problems. Get your heating system thoroughly inspected annually by a licensed heating contractor.
5. Dust vents regularly
As well as maintaining the efficiency of your heating system, its also very important to make sure the air you’re breathing is clean by regularly dusting your heating vents.
6. Move furniture away from the vents
Keeping the vents in your home unobstructed is essential in order for your heating system to work as efficiently as possible. If vents are obstructed, the furniture in the way will soak up the heat instead of it moving through the living space.
7.Change you furnace air filter monthly
As well as keeping your ducts dust free, its important to change the furnace air filter monthly to reduce the amount of dust and allergens being circulated in the air by the furnace. A clean furnace will keep dust allergies at bay, reduce the cost of running the furnace and increase its longevity.
8. Prune and cut branches around the house to let the sunlight in.
In the winter months its important to get as much sunlight as you can. As well as keeping your home warm naturally and for free, sunlight helps the body produce vitamin D, which boosts the immune system and helps stave of Seasonal Affective Depression (depression caused by a lack of sunlight in the winter). Keep the branches around your windows pruned back to make the most of the sunlight.
9. Reverse the switch on your ceiling fan to draw the hot air down.
This is a clever one. If you have a ceiling fan, you can run it in reverse to keep all the hot air that gathers at the top of a room and send it back down to where you are living. This is especially useful if you have high ceilings which can make rooms difficult to heat.
10. Add an insulation value of R10 to your windows with Krumpers Solar Blinds
Krumpers Solar Blinds add an R10 insulation value to your windows, transforming them from the most vulnerable area for heat loss in the home, to the equivalent of a wall that you can see through while it actively heats your home with the sun’s rays. IF the previous steps don’t lower your energy bill, this one is sure to reduce it significantly, whilst reducing your dependence on your furnace.