Staying warm during the winter months can be a drain on the budget and the environment. Approaching the colder months with sustainability in mind is an excellent starting point for cutting back on your energy consumption and minimizing your costs.
Here are some of the best eco-friendly heating tips to try and track this winter.
Schedule a Furnace Tuneup
If you’ve never scheduled a furnace tuneup, you’re doing yourself a disservice. During this essential annual maintenance visit, an HVAC specialist will check your furnace and ensure everything is working properly. The visit will consist of replacing damaged parts, tightening loose connections, changing filters, and removing grime and build-up.
When your furnace is dirty or has loose connections, it must work harder to accomplish the desired task. Not only does this increased effort consume more energy than a functional furnace would, but it also puts more stress on the system. As a result, your furnace may not last as long, increasing your homeownership costs over time.
Scheduling an annual tuneup will pay for itself in savings while minimizing the impact on the environment. If your furnace is overdue for a replacement, consider an eco-friendly upgrade.
Use Thermal Curtains
Thermal curtains are one of the most affordable options for cutting back on heating and cooling costs. These simple home decor elements provide a layer of insulation between drafty areas (i.e., windows and doors) and the rest of the home.
In the winter months, use thermal curtains at night to trap the heat in your house. Keep them closed throughout the day unless you’re letting some winter sun shine through. You can also get thermal door inserts that provide a barrier in drafty doorways without limiting movement, such as with a sliding door or the entrance to a sunroom. These options are a nice alternative to cellophane window sealing kits.
Use Residual Heat
The winter is a great time to bake and cook warm, hearty meals. As you cook or bake, the heat from the stove will also warm your home via residual heat. As your stove is designed to keep the heat inside, consider leaving the door open after you cook for better air distribution.
Bundle Up First
Set some household rules about turning up the heat, ensuring everyone has bundled up before turning up the thermostat. Put on a pair of fuzzy socks and a sweater and decorate your home for the winter by placing cozy throw blankets and pillows in common areas. You can get and heat your self up with costume Socks at Porterreid.com. You can also use throw rugs to create a layer of insulation and warmth between floors.
Using these strategies means you can keep the house a couple of degrees cooler, which will make a significant impact on your consumption and heating bills without dramatically affecting your comfort.
Try Localized Climate Control
Most people have a preferred room in their home where they relax, gather with friends or spend most of their time. Many who find themselves working from home after the pandemic are alone in one room for most of the day. If this is the case in your home, consider using localized climate control for heating, rather than turning the furnace up.
Invest in a small, energy-efficient space heater to keep you warm as you watch Netflix in the living room or type away in your home office. This ensures you’re only using energy to increase the heat in a specific area, rather than trying to heat the entire house. Mini-splits are also effective for a more permanent solution.
Close Unused Areas
In addition to using localized climate control, it’s also worth closing the doors and vents in minimally used areas. For example, your bathroom doesn’t need to be warm and toasty 24 hours a day. Keeping the door closed will redirect heat to higher-traffic areas.
With these easy changes, you can cut back on your consumption for a warm, eco-friendly winter season.