Warming Your House For Less In This Cold Weather

Warming Your House For Less In This Cold Weather

Cold weather has struck with a vengeance!  I don't recall this long of a stretch of cold weather...this early in the year in quite awhile.  As I sit here with a heating pad on my lap wondering what to write my weekly blog about....and wondering what they have the thermostat set at here in the office, it struck me!  Ways to keep your house warmer for less!  So after extensive research on Google...here are some ideas to help you warm your house for less this winter season:

1. Fixing poor insulation

This was obviously a recurring theme that everyone touched upon.  Single pane windows, older doors and poor attic insulation.  

As for windows, replacing all your windows with energy efficient ones may be the BEST solution, but lets face it, not everyone has thousands of dollars laying around to spend on new windows.  There's other options though, your local home improvement store has weather stripping and insulation you can use (everytime I've tried it it looks terrible), so the one thing that really seemed like a good idea to me that wasn't too expensive was insulated curtains.  Good curtains with a heavy cloth will help keep the heat in and the cold out.

In terms of doors, obviously weather stripping helps or purchasing a "door sweep".  A door sweep is a plastic/rubber piece that attaches to the bottom of the door and prevents your warm heat from "drafting" out of your house.  If you don't want to buy one a cloth sack full of dried peas or rice works well (think "sock";).  Also, when you're thinking about heat drafting out, if you have a fireplace, remember to keep the Flue closed when you're not using it.  Otherwise it's a giant hole sucking all your hard earned money out the top of your home through higher energy bills. 

As far as the attic, this is probably one of the most important ones.  Heat rises, so if you have a poorly insulated attic you will lose a ton of heat that way.  Be careful if you decide to insulate yourself....I've seen mold grow in homes where the homeowner plugged up all their soffit vents allowing zero airflow in the attic.  The vents are there for a reason, don't cover them up (there is such a thing as good venting and bad venting).
One good trick to discovering where your air is escaping is to use a candle and run along all the window cracks, door cracks and along the walls in your attic.  If there's a draft the candle flame will flicker as the air goes by it.

Programmable Thermostats, Using your ceiling fans and maximizing your furnance.

Programmable thermostats save you money because they keep your temperature steady.  However, try to avoid "rapid cycling" which draws a ton of energy.  This is when the thermostat is set to adjust whenever the temperature changes a tiny bit.  If you hear your furnace rapid cycling (turning on and off frequently) try to adjust the temperature parameter up.  So instead of turning on everytime the temperature changes a 1/2 degree, have it come on when the temperature changes 2 degrees.

 If you have ceiling fans, reversing the rotation and keeping them on low can redirect your hot air downwards.

A dirty furnace is bad.  Just don't do it.  It won't work as well, or as long, it'll cost more to run it and it will be pumping dirty air through your home.  You should have your furnaced cleaned and serviced regularly, however if you don't want to do that...at least change the filter.

Other Good Suggestions

Cook at home!  Use the oven and you'll save money twice...once on not eating out and once when your oven helps heat your home;)

Close unused rooms.  That excercise room you haven't entered in 6 months is just drawing heat away from the rest of the house;)  Close the door and don't waste the heat.

Move furniture away from vents and registers and close vents and registers in rooms you're not using.  This will help direct heat where you need it. 

Work the drapes.  If you do have nice, newer windows (nice newer clean windows I should say) opening the curtains during the day can give you free solar heating;)  Close them when the sun goes down to take advantage of your "insulating drapery".

Hope this was helpful, stay warm out there!!!

Sarah Rowan Headshot
Phone: 970-397-5774
Dated: November 11th 2014
Views: 320
About Sarah: Sarah was a licensed real estate agent for 10 years before transitioning into the mortgage industry ...

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