7 Ways to Heat Your Home Efficiently
Did you know that temperature control accounts for 48% of an average household’s energy use in the U.S.? Finding ways to heat your home efficiently can help lower your energy use without compromising your home’s comfort level. Let’s look at a few ways you can accomplish this.
1. Find and Seal Drafts
Up to 30% of your heating may be wasted due to leaks in your ducts and home. Taking the time to find and seal those leaks can have a significant impact on lowering your energy use.
A DIY way to find air leaks is to wait for a windy day. Light a stick of incense and then slowly move it around the frames of your windows and doors. If the smoke is drawn out or blown in, you have found an air leak. Weatherstripping, caulking, and spray insulation can seal those leaks.
A more precise way to identify these leaks is to have a professional home inspector perform thermal imaging on your home during an inspection. This camera can detect where cold air is coming in and cold air is leaving by displaying temperature differences.
2. Use the Sun to Heat Your Home
If you have windows facing the south and the west, open up the drapes during the day. The lower angle of the sun will allow radiant heat to warm up your home. Just don’t forget to close them when the sun starts to go down. Closing thermal drapes will help keep the warm air inside at night.
3. Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to set a schedule around when you are at home, when you are gone, or when you are sleeping. The thermostat will adjust the temperature down when you are away or sleeping and then bring it back up for when you are at home and awake.
4. Have Your HVAC Serviced
You cannot heat your home efficiently if your heating system is working too hard to maintain a set temperature. A seasonal maintenance call by a professional HVAC technician makes all the difference. The technician will inspect the heating system and make adjustments so that it works at its most efficient.
The technician can also spot potential problems and fix them before they become urgent. Changing your HVAC filter is another important maintenance step for the system. You should replace this filter regularly according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
5. Use Ceiling Fans
Most ceiling fans have a button allowing the blade direction to be reversed. Since heated air rises, the fan can circulate it back down into the room instead of letting the warm air stay trapped near the ceiling. Make sure your fans are running at low speed, clockwise, in the winter.
6. Upgrade the Insulation
If you have an older home, your insulation may have deteriorated over time. Increasing the insulation to recommended levels can help to heat your home efficiently. You can add additional insulation to the attic by adding more on top of the existing. Thermal imaging performed by a home inspector can discover areas of lacking insulation behind walls.
It doesn’t take much to heat your home efficiently. By doing a bit of work and performing routine maintenance, you will see lower energy costs throughout the year.