As your local heating repair expert, we like to remind our clients that “warm and cozy is our specialty!” We’ve worked on a whole lot of heating systems over the years, and we know that the only thing scarier than a busted furnace is a sky-high energy bill. These days it costs an arm and a leg keeping warm throughout the winter months. So if you want to keep your energy costs down but still maintain a toasty abode, follow these steps! Doing so will also mean less strain on your furnace, ensuring a longer life and longer periods between repairs.
- Soak up the rays. Capture—and trap—as much sunlight as possible. Remove obstructions from outside your home that cast shadows, and keep curtains open during the day. Allowing in sunlight will naturally heat your home from the greenhouse effect. At night, close your curtains to trap the light inside. Consider using heavier or insulated curtains to form another barrier between you and that frosty night air.
- Be a draft dodger! Stop drafts from entering the house by using a floor mat, door sweep, or draft dodger near your front door. Obviously, avoid opening and closing the door (and windows) as much as possible to retain heat. You can even purchase brushes or pieces of cloth to go over mail slots and pet doors. If you know where other cracks are in your walls and entry-points, seal them up properly for best insulation.
- Know how your air flows! Since warm air rises, you can push it back toward you by setting all ceiling fans to rotate clockwise (most ceiling fans will have a small switch that lets you do this). Move furniture away from heating vents and radiators so the heat is allowed to move about the home and isn’t absorbed immediately. Keep bathroom fans off so they don’t suck up even more warm air and push down the cold.
- Stop to reflect. Speaking of radiators—if you have them, consider taping up tin foil to the walls behind them. If you do this properly, you’ll be reflecting heat (that would absorb into the wall) back into the room. There’s a type of tin foil made for this purpose specifically, but the standard stuff will do.
- Pace yourself. Invest in a timed thermostat that lets you program cooler temperatures for periods when you know you’ll be out of the house. It’s silly roasting an unoccupied home, so why not drop the temperature to 60 or 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the work day, then pushing it back up to 70 or higher for when you’re home? Do what works for you, but remember your furry friends like to keep warm, too!
- Divide and conquer. If you’re not using a room, keep the door shut. Doorways act as effective barriers that let you isolate either chilled or warmed rooms.
- Protect your feet. Bare floors are major sources of heat loss. The more carpets, rugs, and protection for your floor, the warmer your house will be, and feel.
- Dress and act for warmth. Put on warm, wooly layers and do as your mother told you—don’t walk around the house with wet hair or bare feet! Wear a toque to protect heat from leaving your head. Use your oven more often and remember to exercise in the home—both of these activities will definitely heat you up. Switch to flannel bed sheets and find somebody to cuddle with—human or non-human will do!
Of course, some people will have open fireplaces, chimneys, space heaters, and other worries, but for now, it’s best to work with what’s sensible and easily done. Remember—the more you tax your heating system, the more you’ll have to pay the big bucks on your bills, and the more likely you’ll need a tune-up or total replacement. For those times when wearing woolen socks just won’t cut it, always remember to give us a call to get your heat up and running!