Heating Your House: Energy Saving Tips

a chalkboard drawing of a house with dollar signs coming out the chimney

Following these easy energy saving tips ensures a successful approach to saving on utility bills and reducing global warming. Check out the following tips to use your thermostat efficiently.

Monitor the Thermostat

Lower the temperature of the thermostat by one degree during the winter. This will not affect the temperature inside the house much, but will result in considerable savings on the overall energy bill.

Wear suitable clothes inside the house. The thermostat temperature can be reduced to a lower comfortable setting, resulting in greater savings.

Use a programmable thermostat. It may cost more initially, but the savings on the energy bill will more than make up for the price. A programmable thermostat can be moved to a lower temperature during the period when nobody is at home during the day, or when you are on vacation.

Install a separate thermostat for each zone of the house. This localizes the effort, maximizes individual comfort, and reduces energy bills.

Avoid Air Leaks

If your house is not completely insulated and sealed, the heating system has to work harder. Avoiding air leaks is one of the most important energy saving tips.

Carry out a thorough inspection of all the doors, windows, floors, walls, attics, basements, electrical outlets and plumbing fixtures for any holes through which air is escaping. Seal then with caulk or weather strips.

Insulate your house to protect it against harsh, cold weather by using fiberglass, foam, or reflective insulation.

Install double glazed windows. They provide a protective barrier from the outside temperatures, preventing heat loss and providing greater insulation than single paned windows.

Install storm doors and storm windows in areas with extremely cold weather. Mounted inside or outside the main doors or windows, they provide a barrier to monitor temperatures inside the house.

Adapt and Change

Make small but effective changes in your day-to-day life that result in efficient heating. Reduce hot water temperature by a few degrees. Take a shower instead of a bath, and use low-flow shower heads.

Move furniture away from the walls and toward the interior of the room. This helps in the free flow of hot air, thus heating the cold exterior walls.

Close the doors to all the rooms, including the basement and attached garage, that you do not use. This will keep the heat concentrated to the rooms that are in use. Install solar panels to supplement your normal energy source in the most cost-effective, nonpolluting way.

Open up the curtains and blinds during the day to let the sunshine in.

Regular Maintenance

This helps prevent recurring costs and save energy.

Change air filters at regular intervals since a dirty filter makes the system work harder. Clean all the heat vents, radiator surfaces and other moving parts frequently to remove dirt and dust. Seal all the heating ducts around the house using good adhesives or metal foils.

Employ a contractor once a year to carry out complete maintenance, such as tightening all electrical connections, lubricating moving parts, checking oil connections, and carrying out energy audits.

If the heating system is older than 8 to 10 years, consider replacing it with more efficient Energy Star equipment.