Cost Effective Ways to Keep Your House Warm
Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by Residential Waste Systems
If you’re like most people, you’ll find few things more frustrating than a drafty, cold house during the chilly fall and winter months. The easy solution of course is to turn up the heat and let the furnace take care of things while you relax with a nice cup of hot chocolate. Unfortunately, the easy solution is also the costly one. Thankfully there are other ways to keep your house nice and cozy without spending a fortune on your monthly heating bill.
Install Weather Stripping
One of the simplest changes you can make is to add weather stripping to your doors. Weather stripping is inexpensive, especially compared to the price of gas, and easily installed without any special tools or skills. The cracks along the edges of your exterior doors let cold air in from the outside while simultaneously letting your warm air out. This causes your furnace to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. Adding weather stripping will seal these cracks, keep your house warm, and save you money in the long run.
Clean Your Ducts
This often overlooked practice can help immensely to lower your energy costs by improving the efficiency of your heating system. Even individuals with otherwise immaculate homes can have dirty air ducts. Ducts become clogged with dust, dirt, and other airborne particles over their lifetime. As these particles build up, the effectiveness of your heating system is reduced. Removing this particle build up from your heating system is best done by a professional. Prices for a duct cleaning will vary greatly by location, however having clean air ducts is much more cost-effective in the long run.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Ready for a truly inexpensive way to keep your house warm? While weather stripping and duct cleaning are effective, they do require an initial investment. If you’re looking for a (nearly) cost-free method to stay warm, consider reversing your fan blades during the fall and winter months. It may seem counter-productive to run your fans to keep warm, however this technique can work wonders. During the warm months, fans cool you down by circulating cool air downwards. By reversing your fan blades they will pull cool air upwards towards the ceiling, which in turn drives the naturally rising warm air back down towards the floor. Most fans typically have a small reverse switch located somewhere on the unit that allows them to operate in this mode. Its as simple as that. The best part? Besides the small amount of electricity used to power the fan, this method is completely cost-free.
Get Some Sunshine
Even during the long months of the winter, the sun still makes for a pretty efficient heat source. While you may not want to go tanning during the middle of January, you can still take advantage of the sunshine. Leave your blinds open during the day, especially on south facing windows. The natural heat of the sun will help keep your house warm throughout the day. In addition to helping lower your energy bill, your cat will love you for this.
If your house is drafty and cool, despite your efforts, you may need to install some insulation. This procedure can be costly, however it is cost-effective as well. Insulation does exactly what its name says, it insulates your house to prevent unnecessary loss of heat. Depending on the size of your home, energy prices, type of heating system, and your location, your overall costs will vary. However, insulation will save you money on your heating bill and pay for itself over the course of a few years.