Every winter, we find ourselves struggling to keep our homes warm and comfortable without sending our utility bills sky-high. It’s almost impossible to do if you only focus on the thermostat, but there are some simple techniques you can use to keep the cold out and the warm in.
Keep Your Furnace in Top Condition
One great way to get the same amount of heat for less money is simply to perform good heating maintenance. Each fall, have your heating and cooling contractor pay you a visit to service your system. The technician will clean and inspect the unit, making sure that it’s not burdened by dust or worn parts. You’ll have a more energy-efficient system that won’t have to work so hard to keep your home warm.
Check Your Doors
We all know that doors allow cold air into the house as we come and go each day, but if your doors are not sealing well, they could be letting frigid air sneak inside all day long. Make sure that your door is closing squarely; if it’s hard to latch, get it adjusted. Inspect thresholds and door sweeps to make sure there are no gaps, and examine the gasket for cracks. Make sure it is soft and pliable.
Close Your Flue
There is lots of debate about whether fireplaces are efficient enough to justify their use, but both sides of those conversations agree that a chimney can allow a lot of cold air inside if the flue is left open while the fireplace is not in use. Closing your damper will ensure that it keeps out the cold air–as well as any springtime birds and insects that could find their way inside once the world begins to thaw. If you’re not burning anything, be sure your damper is fully closed.
Review Your Insulation
The root word of insulation means “island”, and you should think of your house just that way. Separate the living space from the cold that surrounds it to keep your interior warm and comfortable. Review the condition of insulation in your attic and crawlspace. Make sure it is in place and in good condition. Consider adding an extra layer if you’re not sure you have enough.
Make the Most of Sunlight
We all want the house dark when we sleep, but at daybreak, it’s time to throw back the curtains and let the sun in. Not only does that get us awake and ready for the day, but it also gives us a boost of warmth. Solar heat is free and plentiful, so make sure you are taking advantage of every beam.
If you find that no matter what you do you just can’t get your house warm, it may be worth looking into possible reasons for why that may be the case. Obviously, it can be difficult to heat an entire house and keep that entire house at a warm temperature all the time (especially if it’s a larger house), but if the temperature is constantly dropping while your heating bills are rising that could be an indicator of a much larger problem. You can start with checking the various entries and exits to your home, and if you don’t find an immediately fixable problem you might want to call in a professional to take a look at your heating. You should also take a look at your insulation to make sure it hasn’t come away from the walls or needs replacement. On top of all of this, you can also open your blinds (not your windows) to let as much sunlight into your home as possible.