Heating is expensive. According to the Energy Information Administration, up until 2009 more than 50% of energy was used in home heating. While this number continues to decrease thanks to more energy-efficient heating systems, the vast amounts of fuel used to power furnaces, radiators, water heaters, and boilers is still substantial. Running a heater throughout winter or keeping a fire burning in the fireplace on chilly nights can grow expensive fast. Fortunately, there are a few ways that you can work to reduce heating costs without breaking the bank and buying a more efficient furnace.
Use the Sun Effectively
Sunlight radiates an enormous amount of heat. Keep the curtains of your home open on sunward facing sides during the day. Once the sun has moved and is no longer shining in, close the curtains to help insulate against the cold and prevent heat from conducting back out.
Seal Your Home
Drafts and leaks are major points of heat loss in the home. It doesn’t matter how efficient your home heating system is, if you’re leaking air out of your home then you’re losing money to keep the furnace running. A leaky house means your furnace will run more often than it should have to. Pay attention to leaks around windows and doors. If you feel a cold draft in a hallway or room, find the source of the draft and seal it to prevent heat loss.
Likewise, you can keep from losing heat by making sure your air ducts are leaking heat into wall spaces or your attic. A professional heating and cooling system can perform a pressure test or visual inspection to find leaks in your air ducts. These leaks cause pressure loss and allow heat to leak into the spaces of your home where no one lives. Get your air ducts sealed to prevent costly losses.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
The thermostat in your home works to regulate heat throughout the entire house. A faulty thermostat will cause the furnace to run at odd times or for overly long durations, wasting fuel. But even a fully functional thermostat is limited by functionality. You don’t need to run your furnace all day long, especially during work and school days. As long as temperatures aren’t freezing outside, you don’t need to worry about pipes freezing either. Upgrading to a smart thermostat gives you the ability to set specific times and temperatures, meaning your home doesn’t waste energy when you aren’t present just to keep empty rooms warm. True, you can do that with a regular thermostat, but an upgrade to a smart thermostat means you can still arrive to a warm home since the thermostat will start your furnace up again before you arrive home.
Take Advantage of Hot Spots
Use ceiling fans and keep doors to extremely warm rooms open. A ceiling fan set to reverse will help to circulate warm air around a room. That circulation is key to keep an even temperature throughout the home. If you have a few rooms that are usually colder than others, leave the doors open and allow the warmer rooms to heat them up instead.