Are you wondering how to keep warm in winter while reducing your home heating costs? Check out our winter energy-saving tips, including easy around-the-house solutions and how to optimize your HVAC system for conserving heat.
Home Energy-Saving Heating Tips for Winter
1. Use rugs or carpet
According to a Carpet Institute of Australia study, a carpet's insulation value is up to 10 times higher than a hard floor, and 10 to 20% of heat is lost through non-insulated floors. So, cover any large areas of bare hard flooring with carpeting or a rug to retain heat in your home.
2. Reverse ceiling fans
Typically, a ceiling fan's default rotation is counter-clockwise. This forces air downward to create a cooling breeze. Many modern ceiling fans also have a clockwise rotation switch, which instead draws any cool air upward and moves any warm air stuck at ceiling height downward.
3. Close up the chimney
If you're not using your fireplace for a while, be sure to close the flue to stop warm air from escaping your home. For additional protection, it's also worth blocking the chimney's throat just above the fireplace using an inflatable chimney balloon or a chimney sheep.
4. Use curtains wisely
The U.S. Department of Energy says that 25–30% of residential heating and cooling energy use is attributed to the amount of heat gain or loss through windows. When it's daytime, keep your curtains open to let the sunlight in and close them during the night.
Thermal curtains work extra well for maximizing heat retention. They include a main layer made of an insulating material, such as foam or felt, backed by a piece of decorative outer fabric. Aside from helping to regulate temperature, they also help to block out light and dampen noise. Other curtain types include additional layers made of vapor-barrier material and reflective film.
5. Use other heat sources strategically
Don't let the heat from other items go to waste. For example, keep the oven door open after cooking or limit exhaust fan usage in kitchens or bathrooms.
6. Check insulation and weather-stripping
Prevent heat leaking through gaps in doors and windows by sealing them with insulation, weather-stripping, or caulk. Do the same for ducting, pipework, and electrical outlets.
Energy-Saving HVAC Heating Tips for Winter
You can conserve heat during winter by optimizing and maintaining your HVAC equipment. Here are a few points to consider:
1. Unblock vents
For proper system effectiveness, look at your vents and make sure that furniture or other objects aren’t blocking them. They need to be free-flowing for heat to enter the room.
2. Replace your air filter
Check, clean, or replace your furnace air filter. The air filter is your HVAC system's first line of defense against harmful debris and dust. If it gets too clogged, it can cause your system to 'short cycle,’ in which the furnace automatically shuts itself down to cool off and then restarts again. The continuous loop of overheating creates harmful wear and tear. Here are the steps involved to replace the air filter and prep your furnace for winter.
3. Install a smart thermostat
Smart thermostats are easy to program so you’re getting heat when you need it. Temperatures can be lowered overnight or during work hours if you know the house will be empty. Energy.gov recommends turning your thermostat back from its normal setting by 7°-10°F for 8 hours per day, which can reduce your annual heating and cooling energy demands by up to 10%. Check out our smart thermostat installation guide to learn more.
4. Swap to a heat pump
Consider using a heat pump as they're an energy-efficient alternative to furnaces and air-conditioners. Plus, heat pumps reduce heating-related electricity use by 50%.
Now that you know how to save energy during winter, make sure you put our heating tips into action to stay warm without increasing your heating bill. We have an additional checklist for preparing your home for winter that guides homeowners through potential winter pitfalls. Our team is also available to answer questions or assist you with seasonal HVAC maintenance via our online contact form.