Smart Ideas for Staying Warm
If you’ve ever received a letter from your local energy company comparing your energy usage to your neighbors, you’ve probably wondered what you could be doing differently to save money. Here are five tips to help you reduce your energy costs while staying warm this winter.
Tune Up Your Furnace
Unless your furnace is brand new, it’s probably time for an annual checkup. As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, so hire a professional who will conduct a thorough inspection, clean the vents, and change the filters, which will help your furnace run more efficiently. And, if there is any rust, corrosion, leakage, blockage, or other damage, it will cost far less to fix the issue now than it would if the furnace breaks down in the middle of a freezing January night!
Update Your Thermostat
Consider replacing your old thermostat with an innovative new “learning thermostat” which tracks household usage and automatically adjusts the temperature to minimize energy and save money. Check with your local energy provider, as you may be able to order it directly from the company.
If you find yourself using only some of the rooms in your house during the winter, don’t waste money heating your other rooms fully. To minimize energy usage, close the floor and wall vents in unused rooms and keep the doors shut. Keep your indoor air temperature low and use a small portable electric heater to create additional warmth in the other rooms as you use them. If you have ceiling fans, turn them on low in a clockwise direction so they push the warm air down towards the floor.
Clean Your Dryer Exhaust Vent
If it’s been years since you cleaned your dryer vent, it may be partially clogged with lint, dust, or animal hair if you have pets. Hire a professional to thoroughly clean the exhaust vent and you’ll find that your clothes dry faster—saving you money with every load of laundry
Throughout your house, check and repair window and door seals to prevent heat from escaping. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day to let the sunlight in and close them again at dusk. Wear slippers to avoid cold feet, and if you’re an animal lover, let your dog or cat curl up at the end of your bed for extra warmth!