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How to Make the Most Out of Your Heat This Winter

Take charge of your energy use and save money with these easy tips for conserving energy in the winter.

Keep the Heat In – and the Cold Out

Harness the power of the sun by opening the curtains to take advantage of the greenhouse effect, allowing the sun to naturally heat your home. Of course, windows – older, single-paned windows in particular – can also be a significant source of heat loss, so be sure to close the curtains once the sun has set.

Insulated curtains can up the energy efficiency of your windows by blocking air leaks and drafts around windows, but there are other places in your home where heat may be escaping. External doors may benefit by replacing the weatherstripping, but in a pinch, a draft stopper can make a big difference.

Heating alone is responsible for more than 40% of home energy use.

Look for unexpected sources of heat loss as well – electrical outlets on exterior walls can fight drafts with the installation of foam gaskets behind the faceplate. Remove window air-conditioning units if possible; if not, invest in an insulated cover and double-check that there aren’t any gaps around the opening. Fireplaces are another significant escape route for heat, so be sure to keep the flue closed when not in use.

Decrease the Amount of Heat You Use

While it may seem obvious that lowering your thermostat can save money on your energy bill, there are ways to do it without sacrificing comfort. Start by dressing appropriately – you shouldn’t need to wear a parka in the house, but adding or subtracting layers during changes in your activity level will enable you to keep the thermostat at a reasonable level. When our bodies are cold, they prioritize keeping our core warm, and extremities typically show the first signs of a chill. Invest in a cozy pair of slippers, but make sure they’re not too snug. Tight-fitting shoes or socks can impede circulation.

It’s more cost-effective to heat your body than it is to heat your house, and your bedroom is another place where you can conserve energy. By layering on the blankets, you can lower the thermostat by as much as ten degrees, and you might just find that you sleep better in a cool room. To ensure your home has returned to a comfortable temperature when you rise, invest in a smart or programmable thermostat.

Finally, close off rooms that aren’t being used so that your boiler or furnace doesn’t need to work as hard.

Key Takeaways

  • Small measures can add up to big savings when it comes to your energy bill.
  • Start by looking for ways to cut your energy consumption.
  • By taking appropriate energy-saving measures, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice comfort to save money.