Top 10 Tips to Save You Energy This Winter

by Rachel Laurendeau on November 21, 2012

As the cool weather starts to blow in, it’s time to ready our homes for winter. Here are our top ten tips to winterize, save energy and keep warm this winter.

• Optimize your furnace: If you haven’t had a yearly maintenance check completed on your HVAC system, now is the time to do it. A general tune-up can help your furnace run more efficiently and save you money on your heating bill.

• If you have an older heating system that needs replacing, choose a high efficiency system and talk to your contractor about whether or not your home would benefit from the installation of an HRV/ERV.

• The air filters on your furnace should be cleaned or changed regularly. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for a cleaning and maintenance schedule; this should generally be done on a monthly basis. Clean filters mean better airflow and reduced strain on the system.

• Use a programmable thermostat and reduce the heat by a few degrees when everyone is out during the day or when you go to bed at night. If you’re chilly in the evening, throw an extra blanket on your bed.

• Keep heat vents, registers or radiators free of obstructions. If furniture, area rugs or curtains cover them, the warm air will be trapped and won’t move out into the space you’re trying to heat.

• If your house has ceiling fans, run them in reverse. This way the warm air will get pushed back down, away from the ceiling.

• If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed whenever there is no fire, otherwise, the heat from the room will just get sucked out through the flue.

• Drafty windows and doors are a major source of heat loss. Replace old windows with modern energy efficient models. If that isn’t an option, put in storm widows and storm doors for an extra layer of protection and use weather stripping or caulking to block the drafts.

• Bare wood, laminate and ceramic floors can feel cold. Try using area rugs in rooms where you spend the most time standing or sitting on the floor.

• While not an inexpensive undertaking, if you know that your attic is not well insulated, having it properly insulated is a good investment that will pay for itself both in the cold of the winter and heat of the summer.

Talk to your local home improvement expert or HVAC contractor for more information on how to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

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