Winter’s not going anywhere any time soon, and with temperatures ready to plummet again, staying warm can be a challenge. But keeping from freezing doesn’t have to drain your home’s energy — or your wallet.
KEEP IT CLEAN
- When was the last time you had your furnaced serviced? Industry experts recommend once every two years. Maintaining your home’s heating system is an important part of conserving energy. Word to the wise — never try to repair it yourself.
- Speaking of heating systems, if yours has a filter, clean or replace it every couple of months.
- Keep your boiler free from obstructions like packing boxes, old furniture or even walls. It needs air to work properly.
- Have your water heater, fireplace, chimney flue and space heaters checked to ensure they’re doing their job right.
- Keep the thermostat low when you’re not home or while you’re sleeping. It actually takes less energy to warm up a cool house than it does to maintain a warm temperature. Installing an automatic setback thermostat is easy and inexpensive.
- For every one degree you set your thermostat back, you can save one to three percent on your annual heating costs.
LAYER IT UP
- Insulation improves the efficiency of your home, so make sure your attic, walls, ceilings and floors are properly layered in insulation.
- Mom always said to put on an extra sweater — and she was right. Layering your clothes can help you stay warm when the temperature is down.
- Use the sun — open your drapes during the day to capture the warmth and close them at night to prevent heat loss.
SEAL IT UP
- Leaks let in cold air, which can increase your energy use. Seal up those holes and cracks!
- Make sure you’ve caulked around windows and doorframes. Replace any broken panes on storm doors and windows where the cold can creep in.
- Consider shutting off the heat in unused rooms and closing the fireplace damper when not in use.
- Remove window air conditioning units — or cover them in plastic on both the inside and outside.