Winter in the New England can be unpredictable sometimes. It can go as low as -20 or go above 50 degrees during the winter season. The warm days we appreciate and the cold ones we try to get away from. Heating your home can make up approximately 30-42% of your home energy usage. Depending on how the brutal the winter is this percentage might go up.
Besides turning up the thermostat and wearing a winter jacket in the house, there are a few ways to keep your home comfortable this winter without driving your energy bill through the roof.
Take Advantage of Your Curtains
If you’re windows are a little drafty and you currently don’t have the resources to get them replaced, you can use your curtains to try and keep some of the cold out. Thick curtains with a thermal lining closed at night or in the early morning can help keep the heat in the house and keep some of the cold draft out.
If there’s no one home you can keep the thermostat low and draw the curtains during the day when the sun is bright to let some of the warmth in the house. It’s basically free heat from the sun, you can then close the curtains at sundown to retain the heat.
Close the Chimney
If you have an open chimney that isn’t being used, either during the day, at bedtime or at all, you lose heat right up through the top. You can purchase a chimney balloon to place in the chimney and inflate it to block the chimney hole. This keeps out cold drafts and keeps the heat in your house. Just remember to remove it before you start a fire in the chimney.
One way you could be losing heat and letting in the cold is how your pets get in and out of the house. If you have a dog or cat flap, one way to let it work efficiently for your home is to insulate it.
Your furry friend(s) will appreciate coming inside to a warm house.
Insulate the Floors
The floor accounts for about 10% of heat lost in a home. You can easily fix this by covering wooden floors with rugs and carpet. Before covering up the floor with a rug or carpet check and make sure there are no cracks or gaps. If there are, you should fill them before covering. You get the added bonus of warm feet when you walk.
Clean the Radiator
A radiator blocked with dust and grime will work harder to warm your house but won’t really do a great job. You’ll just be burning a lot of energy to warm up poorly. In order for your radiator and furnace to work effectively you have to clean them out before the winter starts. If you forgot and it is mid-winter, take a day or weekend and clean them out so they’re not blocked and can produce heat more effectively and efficiently.
These are just a few of many ways you can stay warm at home this winter without driving up the heating bill. For in-depth ways to keep your home energy efficient check out or last blog on energy efficiency.