Winter can be a magical time of year when friends and family come together to celebrate the holidays. But as people gather together, you probably want to keep your home comfortable without jacking up the energy costs. Fortunately, with these tips, you can stop worrying about your heating costs and enjoy time with friends and loved ones.
You can use the sun for free heat by opening the blinds and curtains on south facing windows. Having the right low-e windows will help. Special coatings can allow natural solar heat inside and trap it. Then, when the sun goes down, close your window coverings to keep the heat indoors.
You can also tap into energy that is already in your home. For example, when you cook, shower, or dry your clothes. Instead of turning on the exhaust vents and sending that hot air directly outside, allow the heat and steam to circulate.
You will lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in energy costs each year from heat escaping through the roof of your home. Check your attic insulation to make sure you have quality materials to stop heat transference.
Instead of turning up the thermostat, pull on a sweater and warm socks. Also, keep extra blankets in each room so you can bundle up if you get cold. And if you have wood floors, put down area rugs to help insulate the floor. These small steps can help keep you cozy without driving up your heating costs.
There is no reason to heat your home all day if you are not there. Another way to save on energy expenses this winter is to install a smart or programmable thermostat. That way, you can set the heat to turn off after you leave and come on before you get home. Some new models even allow you to control temperatures through an app on your phone.
Because it is a peak season, you will want to change your air filters every 30 days. That will help keep dust and debris out of your HVAC system and boost the efficiency of your furnace. You should also schedule an annual furnace service to make sure your heating is up and running before the first cold snap.
For even and efficient heating, make sure your heating registers are clear. That way, air has an unobstructed path into the room. You may need to move your sofa or armchair away from the walls for the winter season, keeping the registers unobstructed.
When you lock your windows, you can feel the sash closing tight against the frame—especially with casement and awning windows. This makes a difference and the tighter seal helps reduce air leaks.
If you want to improve energy efficiency, sealing air leaks is important. You can get foam, caulking, and weather stripping from the local hardware store and seal up any leaks around your windows and doors. It is cheap, easy to apply, and can save you money.
If your windows are 20 plus years old, there is little hope they will hold out much longer. Caulking and insulation will only get you so far. Over time, windows develop seal failures, leaks, and sustain damage. If your old windows do not operate as they should, or you notice condensation between the panes, then your windows are not energy efficient. In fact, that can account for more than 25% of your heating loss. It might be time to consider replacement windows in Chicago, IL.
For a free in-home evaluation, contact Scientific Home Services. You can call (847) 752-0370 or plan to visit us at 7240 Saint Louis Ave., Skokie, IL 60076.