Tips for Heating Your Home

  1. saving energy in the winterObtain an “energy audit” or “home energy performance rating, and use the information to upgrade the most cost-effective energy problems at your home. Many utility companies, heating and air-conditioning firms, and consultants offer such services. Home energy ratings can now be used to get mortgage-backed loans to make improvements, in many areas.
  2. Install set-back digital thermostat on your heating system or heat pump. Every degree of set “back” for heating may save up to 8% on central heating energy usage. These devices can also “turn off” mechanical systems when you are not home. (Be sure to select the appropriate model; professional installation may be recommended.)
  3. Get your furnace or heat-pump serviced professionally, and the air-filters should be changed frequently for best circulation. You may also wish to close registers in unused rooms.
  4. Check and upgrade your attic insulation to thicknesses appropriate for your climate. In most areas of the US, the Department of Energy recommends either R-30 or R-38 attic insulation be installed.
  5. Install ceiling fans in your most frequently occupied rooms, such as family rooms and bedrooms. These fans can make 65 degrees seem like 70 degrees, in Winter by evening out room temperature layers.
  6. When outdoor conditions are mild — usually above 65 degrees F, open windows in all rooms of the home for natural ventilation.
  7. Choose energy-efficient windows for replacements, that are rated by the “NFRC,” or have an equivalent energy performance warranty from the manufacturer or builder. (NFRC – “National Fenestration Rating Council”)
  8. Close windows and doors during the coldest parts of the day, and when outdoor conditions are windy.
  9. Open draperies and window shades on sunny winter days, particularly on South, East and Western facing windows.
  10. Plant drought-tolerant shade trees around your home, but remember to provide good Winter-time “solar” access to south-facing windows.