For many homeowners, winter is the time when their energy bill skyrockets. Since your heating system is often one of the biggest consumers of power in your home, it’s worthwhile to consider your heating practices. A few simple changes could help you save a lot of energy and money.

Open Window Treatments When It’s Sunny

Typically, your windows are less insulated than your walls or floors. Therefore, covering them up with heavy curtains or thick, wooden blinds can help keep heat from escaping. However, when the sun is shining directly on your windows, the heat of the sun more than makes up for any heat loss through the glass. Opening your window treatments when they’re facing direct sunlight lets you get natural warmth from the sun.

Insulate Your Pipes

Pipe insulation does more than just keep your pipes from bursting; it also helps the water in your pipes stay warm so you don’t have to run your hot water faucet for a while to get hot water. This ensures that your water heater isn’t wasting a bunch of energy to warm water that turns ice-cold in minutes.

Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction

If you have ceiling fans, check the top of the light fixture for a small switch. Most fans allow you to change the direction that the blades rotate. This is important because it lets your fan grab the warm air that rises to your ceiling and push it back toward you. To get better circulation, you just need to make sure your fan is rotating clockwise.

Adjust Your Thermostat

The Department of Energy recommends that homeowners set their thermostats to no more than 68 degrees Fahrenheit in winter. If desired, you can hypothetically go as low as 55 degrees without freezing pipes. Of course, these lower temperatures can feel a little uncomfortable. To stay cozy, consider wearing warm clothes like sweaters, thick socks, and even hats inside. Another option is to get a smart thermostat that will lower the temperature whenever you leave the house and raise it when you return.

Switch to a Zoned Heating System

Zoned heating systems allow you to pick and choose which part of the house you heat. You can close off unused areas like guest bedrooms and only warm the areas of the house where you are actually staying. There are a few different types of zoned heating systems to try. Some people install a version with dampers in their ducts which reroute heat from a central unit. Others pick a mini-split heat pump with separate units in separate rooms.

Stay Warm With a Space Heater

If your home feels too chilly but you don’t want to crank up the thermostat, consider trying a space heater. These small heaters provide supplemental heat to one area of the house. Though heating a whole home with space heaters isn’t energy efficient, running just a single space heater with your main heater turned down can save you money. This can be a good option if you have a big house but spend all your time in one small room. It can also be ideal for families where one member prefers it to be warmer than everyone else does.

Reduce Your Water Heater’s Temperature

Your heater’s thermostat isn’t the only thermostat to adjust in winter. It can also be helpful to turn down your water heater’s thermostat. If you have a traditional water heater with a tank, it’s constantly using energy to keep the tank of water warm. Lowering the thermostat setting will reduce energy usage, and you probably won’t notice a change unless you always take scalding hot showers.

Take Advantage of Warmth From Showers and Ovens

There are a lot of fixtures throughout your home that produce warmth while they do their job. After you use them, try to arrange them so that they release all their excess heat directly into your home. If you don’t have young children or pets, you can do things like leave the oven door open after you turn it off or wait to drain bath water until it’s room temperature.

For more tips on saving energy with your HVAC and plumbing systems, turn to A To Z Dependable Services. Our technicians can examine your home and recommend ways to improve efficiency. We can also help with a variety of other repairs, maintenance, and installation. To learn more about our HVAC and plumbing services in Niles, contact A To Z Dependable Services today.

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