4 Steps Homeowners Need to Take to Reduce Home Energy Consumption in Winter
Winter is a great time to stay home and relax while enjoying time with friends and family. Unfortunately, all of that extra time at home can greatly increase your home's energy consumption. To help lower utility bills and reduce your home's environmental impact, there are some important steps you should take to help make your home more energy-efficient this winter.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Although manual thermostats are effective at maintaining one temperature in your home, they don't do well when you need to change the temperature in your home throughout the day. For example, if part of your day is spent away from home at work, you don't need your home to be as warm as it is when you're present. By installing a programmable thermostat, you can fine-tune your temperature settings to increase your energy savings.
Let the Light Shine In
If you have large windows in your home, winter is the perfect time to make good use of them. On sunny days, you can open your curtains and allow the sunshine to warm the interior surfaces of your home. This will result in radiant heating that will keep your home warm for free. The best part is that with energy-efficient replacement windows, once the air inside your home is warm, it won't leave your home in the same way that the sun came in.
You may not realize it, but at any given time, your home is losing a lot of warm air through cracks and gaps in various places. These cracks can hide around windows and doors, in foundations, and in countless other areas around your home. In order to reduce your home's energy consumption, it's important to fill in as many of these cracks as you can so that your home loses energy more slowly. The more slowly air leaves your home, the less-frequently your furnace will have to run to keep your home warm.
Upgrade Your Heating System
Operating an inefficient heating system can take a serious toll on your utility bill. That's why it's a great idea to upgrade your heating system to a more efficient model. For maximum efficiency, you can install a geothermal heat pump that utilizes the constant temperature underground to keep your home warm. Although these systems are more expensive upfront, the energy savings you will experience over the lifetime of these systems is quite significant.
If you're like some people, it might be hard for you to get warm even after implementing all these tips. Although it's hard to get comfortable, it's important to keep energy consumption in mind when you're making efforts to increase the temperature of your home. In some cases, it may be better to add an extra layer of clothes so that you can stay warm without increasing your home's energy consumption.
Edited by Dixie Somers