The energy consumption of your heating system seems to be something you can do nothing about. There’s no flexibility to utility rates and you do what you need to do to live life in your home in winter. After all, who wants to shiver in the cold?
However, there are some simple tricks you can do to make the most of your heating system’s energy consumption.
Cover Drafty Windows
One obvious energy drain is windows that leak air and make your furnace work harder.
One way to combat this is to put a thick, clear plastic sheet on a frame on windows, or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames, during the frozen months.
The plastic must be tightly sealed to reduce the problem and provide insulation. You can also explore caulking the cracks and gaps in the window frames as a way to cut drafts.
Tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades can also help. In addition, you should know that some drafts are good for energy conservation. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan blades and they will suck up the cool, lower air and mix it with the warm higher air, evening the temperature of your home, so the furnace doesn’t have to work so hard.
Plug Your Chimney
While nothing is cheerier than a crackling fire, your fireplace is an energy hog, releasing heat up the chimney when it’s not in use, even with the flue closed. However, you can combat this issue by buying a chimney balloon, available in different sizes, blocking airflow and saving you money.
Get a Better Thermostat
We all know we can save money if we turn down the thermostat when we’re cozy in bed or away from the house. The trouble is, life gets in the way and we sometimes forget to do this, at great cost when it comes to energy consumption.
So buy a programmable thermostat and take your shaky memory out of the equation. Or pay a bit more and get a smart thermostat, which will learn how you live (when you sleep, leave the house, etc.) and adjust the heat accordingly.
Let the Sun Shine In
It’s not only nice to sit in a patch of sunshine coming through your window on a winter’s day; it helps heat your house. So leave your drapes or blinds open on sun-facing windows during the day and then close them at night, to prevent drafts.
Eliminate Drafty Electrical Boxes
Electrical boxes in your exterior walls are often poorly insulated, letting in drafts. You need to stop air flowing through and around the box.
You can remove the cover plate and fill gaps with acrylic latex caulk, or use foam sealant for big gaps. Then you can place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch, and replace the cover plate.
Make these changes and then enjoy the warm feelings of a house that stays toasty while saving you money.