Even if you keep your thermostat set low all winter long and pile on the sweaters to stay warm, you shouldn’t have to suffer freezing cold feet during the happiest time of the year. Go ahead and splurge on higher thermostat settings this season, but have these energy-saving strategies in place first to make the cost of the extra comfort negligible.
Get a Heating System Tune-Up
If you neglected to have annual preventive maintenance performed on your heating season earlier this fall, it’s never too late to benefit from an annual tune-up. Yearly maintenance increases the energy efficiency of your system, considerably extends its operating life, ensures the highest level of safety, and helps prevent common problems when it’s cold outside.
Have a Clean Air Filter at the Ready
One of the most common causes of heating system failure is a dirty air filter, which restricts airflow and can result in overheating and other serious problems. Inspect the air filter each and every month, and replace it as soon as it’s covered in dust. A clean filter not only improves system efficiency, but it also protects the interior against dust buildup and helps keep your air clean, which is especially important if you have a live Christmas tree that may have brought in contaminants like pesticides, pollen, and mold spores.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
This holiday season, give yourself the gift of lower energy bills by installing a programmable thermostat, which controls your heating automatically according to the settings you program in based on when you’re at work, at home, or sleeping. With a conventional thermostat, you may forget to turn down the heat before retiring after too many eggnogs, but a programmable thermostat will take care of that for you. According to the Department of Energy, a properly installed and programmed thermostat can save you up to $180 on your annual heating and cooling bills.
Seal Up Your Air Leaks
When cold air infiltrates your rooms through tiny cracks and gaps in your home’s shell, your home will feel drafty and the heating will be uneven, with cold spots here and there. Worse, your energy bills will be much higher than they should be. Sealing air leaks is a simple one-day project, and all you need is a roll of weather stripping and tube of caulk. Caulk around doors and window frames, recessed light fixtures, baseboards, and entrances for pipes, vents, and phone and cable wires. Install the weather stripping between the mechanical components of windows and doors.
Use Your Ceiling Fan
Ceiling fans help you feel cooler in the summer, but they can also help lower your heating bills in the winter. By flipping the switch at the top of the fan to reverse the direction of the blades, warm air that accumulates near the ceiling will be pushed back downward and distributed evenly throughout your rooms.
Let Holiday Cooking Warm You
If you’re a holiday baker, use the leftover oven heat to your advantage by opening the oven door when you’re finished baking to let the heat escape into your rooms, which can delay the thermostat kicking your heating system on.
For more surefire ways to save energy this holiday season without sacrificing comfort and joy, please feel free to contact us at Comfort Control, Inc.