It’s winter, and it’s freezing! This season can be a time of joy for some, where they can go for a weekend of skiing on the snowy mountains or enjoy skating on ice (If COVID-19 allows). While for others, the mood can be just a bit gloomier.
No matter which side of the divide you are on, you will want to keep your hands and feet warm during these months. After all, who doesn’t want to be cozy at the end of the day, sip on hot chocolate, and read their favorite book?
Let’s delve deep into the tips that can help you stay warm during winter.
1. Maintain Your HVAC System
Before the start of the winter season, do a complete checkup of your heat pumps. Clean the filters, look out for any refrigerant leaks, and in the case of ducted systems, for any leaks within the ductwork. There are some common problems that you might encounter during this checkup but do not worry; they can be solved quickly.
It is also good to install a programmable thermostat or a smart AC controller like the Cielo Breez Plus. These intelligent devices maintain a warm temperature by themselves without needing you to change the settings regularly. Innovative features like geofencing, where you can have the home already heated up before you even arrive, ensure that you spend your winters comfortably while also saving energy.
2. Insulation Is the Key
Insulation is an energy-free method to keep warm in the winters. A simple layer of material around your home, or even a particular room, can retain the heat for hours, eliminating the need to keep the heating running for more extended periods.
A well-insulated home will not lose heat as soon as you turn the heating off. Even if you do not want to insulate all the places in your homes, the attic should be protected without any questions asked. An attic is often not heated, in contrast to the rest of the house. The cold from the attic can then transfer to the rest of the house, cooling down the home quickly. A simple insulative layer on the attic floor can ensure that this does not happen, and heat is retained. The EPA has given a guideline on the insulation levels required as per location, be sure to check it out.
Other places to insulate are the home’s outer walls, floor (in case of a basement), and even doors. Another advantage of insulation is if you live in a place where it gets hot in the summers. Insulation can help to keep the home cool after you have turned off your air conditioning.
3. Use the Sunshine!
Sun is your best source of free heat in the winters. Make the most of natural light in your home, and let the sun come in. Even though it may not seem much, sunlight can add a lot of warmth to a room. Not only does it increase the temperature itself, but it also adds to a cozy and comfortable feeling. But don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!
Keep the curtains open for as long as the sun is shining directly on your windows. Moreover, ensure that there is no furniture in front of your windows, which might block off the sunlight from coming in. If you have any decorative ornaments on your windows, take them off if they are hindering the sunshine.
Be sure to close the curtains when it gets dark, though, as the windows start gaining heat when the temperature drops outside. The curtains act as a second layer of insulation apart from windows and retain the room’s heat.
4. Reduce Cold Air Drafts
Check your room for gaps between the doors, windows, and outlets. Cold air from the outside can create drafts of cold air, making the room uncomfortable to sit in. Along with making the room uncomfortable, they also cause energy wastage. You can prevent this air leakage by weatherproofing your space. Caulk up your windows, install door slides under the doors to close off the gap, and cover your wall outlets and unused vents with a piece of plastic.
An important place to check is the attic. It is often left neglected by homeowners, but it can be the single primary source of cold air into the rest of the house. Ensure there are no holes or patches on the attic floor which lead directly to the rooms below. Cold air can come in from these places and lower the temperature.
5. Run an Energy Audit
Sometimes it gets complicated to assess your energy consumption and know the changes you should make to reduce it. Running an energy audit makes the process easier and helps you to identify the necessary changes.
Since you can’t run an energy audit on your own, you should call your local electric company to do it for you. They help you assess your needs, lifestyle, and patterns of energy use. They also check your home structure, appliances survey, and the quality of your home insulation.
Once the audit is done, the company helps you implement the required changes to slash your energy bills. This is one of the tips that can help you lower your energy bills significantly.
For example, an energy audit can recommend you to reduce the thermostat of your water heater. Water heaters usually run at 140 degrees, which is way more than what is needed for everyday use in the shower. Turn down your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees or thereabouts, thus conserving energy. Another recommendation can be to insulate your water heater so that heat loss is not significant and the water remains hot for an extended period.
Enjoy the Winters!
The onset of winters does not mean that you have to spend a fortune keeping your house warm. Follow these five simple tips, and you will quickly feel a difference in the number of expenses you have to set aside for your heating needs. Enjoy the warm and cozy winters!