You know how those first few heat waves of the summer can make you feel overheated. But if you're like most people, you adapt to the warmth fairly quickly.
But the first few cold snaps of autumn? Now that's a different story. Physiology studies show that it takes longer for most people to adapt to cold temperatures.
While your impulse may be to turn up the thermostat to stay warm, you don't want to bust your household budget to pay your heating bill, either. Fortunately, these two goals are not mutually exclusive --- as long as you follow some straightforward home heating efficiency tips from Experts in Your Home:
Address the “Big Three” of Home Heating First
- Schedule your fall heating system tuneup, if you haven't already done so. If you need convincing, see our recent article: “Get ready for fall – now is the perfect time for a home heating system tuneup.”
- Track down the air leaks in your home (every home has some, especially around doors and windows), seal them and then insulate your home. You should notice the difference immediately. For assistance, see another recent article: “Get your heating system ready: plug leaks and insulate.”
- Make a commitment to check your air filter every month and replace it when it becomes so clogged with dust and dirt that you can no longer see through it when you hold it up to a light. A clean filter translates to better air flow, better furnace performance and better indoor air quality; a dirty filter can become such an energy drain on your furnace that it can eventually shut it down. Keep not one but several filters on hand so that you don't let this vital maintenance task slide. For guidance, see “When to change your home heating air filter.”
Adjust That Thermostat
- Set your thermostat as low as possible, which the Experts realize is easier said than done. A setting of 68 degrees may seem like a chilly stretch – unless you get used to wearing a sweater around the house or running a humidifier, which could make your indoor temperature feel closer to 72 degrees. California's Consumer Energy Center recommends a winter setting of (brace yourself) 55 degrees, which may lead you to conclude that the people there are warm-blooded creatures indeed. Choosing a comfortable yet economical setting is a balancing act if there ever was one, especially if you're mindful of a U.S. Department of Energy edict: “You can save as much as 10 percent a year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees for eight hours a day from its normal setting."
- Try lowering the temperature overnight, when you can cover yourself with warm blankets.
- Eliminate the need for frequent thermostat adjustments – and keep your energy bills in check – by asking the Experts to install a programmable thermostat.
Home Heating Tips to Warm Up Your Home
- Hang treatments over windows and place “draft catchers” under doors.
- Place rugs on concrete, linoleum, tile and hardwood floors.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless you're burning a fire.
- When you're done using the oven, keep the door open for a few minutes to warm your kitchen and the surrounding area.
- Set your ceiling fans to run in a clockwise direction to push warm air down from the ceiling.
If you're still struggling to stay warm, contact Experts in Your Home so that our home heating experts can thoroughly inspect your home and, perhaps, conduct an energy audit to pinpoint where your home might be losing valuable energy. You're bound to warm up to the findings – and also chill when you receive your winter energy bills.