- Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to naturally heat your home during the day and close them at night to retain the heat.
- Close the fireplace damper when not in use to stop cold air from entering the house through the chimney.
- Replace screens with storm windows for an extra barrier to the cold outside air. Make sure to close storm windows tightly so no air leaks in or out.
- Cover through-the-wall air conditioners to prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
- Set your thermostat lower in winter. In heating mode, lower your thermostat by 1 degree for 8 hours (while asleep or away from home) to save about 1% on our heating bill. For convenience, install a programmable thermostat to automatically adjust the temperature depending on the time of day and day of week, saving you more than $100 a year.
- Set your furnace fan to “auto” – Setting the fan switch on your thermostat to “on” will cause it to run all the time, whether or not your home needs heating or cooling.
- Use your ceiling fan clockwise. In the winter months, your fan should run in reverse (clockwise) at a low speed. This will gently draw the room air up towards the ceiling and force the warm air down and out towards the walls, avoiding giving you the wind chill effect.
- Insulating and air sealing are two cost effective ways to improve energy efficiency, lower your utility bill and help you stay warm and comfortable. Reducing air leaks alone could cut 10 percent from the average household’s energy bill. When correctly installed in a home that has been air sealed, insulation can help you achieve both comfort and energy savings during the hottest and coldest times of the year. To find out if your home is need of insulation and/or air sealing, contact Focus on Energy (focusonenergy.com or 800-762-7077) about a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR evaluation.
- Don't block your radiators or heating vents with furniture or draperies. Keep your radiators, registers and baseboard heaters dirt and dust free.
- Maintain or replace your heating system – Schedule yearly maintenance with a qualified contractor and replace furnace filters monthly or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Use kitchen and bath ventilating fans wisely. Turn these fans off as soon as they are no longer needed. In about one hour, these fans can pull out a houseful of warmed air.
- Evergreens on the north side of your house can provide shelter against cold winds and can lower your heating bill. If you plant in the fall, make sure you plant a tree with a root ball to ensure it survives the winter.
- Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping around doors and windows.