The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that a household’s home heating is as much as 40 percent of their energy consumption. Most home heating comes from nonrenewable sources such as oil, electricity from coal plants, or natural gas.
Use the following ways to heat your home efficiently, save money, lessen your carbon footprint, and stay warm this winter.
The biggest hold-up for efficient home heating is inadequate insulation. The best way to heat your home efficiently is by increasing attic and wall insulation. Although installing wall insulation isn’t easy and can get expensive, it can eventually pay off through savings on your energy bill year-round.
Adding attic insulation is easier and will also pay off since hot air rises through the attic and roof. You can find out how much more you may need by visiting the Department of Energy’s Zip-Code Insulation Program website.
Drafts are another culprit in a home that’s hard to keep warm. Heat your home efficiently by fixing gaps that cause drafts. To find drafts, hold a stick of incense of a small candle (lit) in front of all windowsills, door jams, and vents. Drafts will cause the flame to flicker or the smoke to blow away.
Use silicone caulking or foam sealant for drafts in stationary sources like window frames. Use draft gaskets for electrical outlets and switches. Use weather-stripping around doors and moveable windows. Put a door draft stopper at the bottom of exterior doors.
Heat Your Home Efficiently by Winterizing Your Home
There are a few simple things you can do to get your home ready for winter that will help heat your home efficiently. If you only use blinds on your windows, add some heavy curtains for the winter months. Even a blanket hung over the window temporarily acts as a barrier to the cold. To keep the floor from being frigid, lay some cozy rugs on tile, hardwood flooring, and linoleum.
More Tips For How to Conserve Energy in Winter
Use passive solar heating to warm your home by opening the curtains over south and west-facing windows during the day. Always get annual maintenance for your home heating system. Poorly maintained units will not heat your home efficiently.
Don’t forget to turn off exhaust fans when you aren’t showering or cooking. Running them for even one hour will suck out the warm air in your home. After using your oven, leave the door open to make use of the extra heat. If you have ceiling fans, help heat your home efficiently by reversing them to clockwise for the winter months. The fan will push heated air down from the ceiling into your room.