It's the season to keep an eagle-eye on the weather forecast and wonder if you can wear more than one sweater at a time. As fall turns to winter, the environmentally-conscious and budget-minded alike start thinking about energy efficiency. And our REALTORS® regularly encounter homebuyers concerned about heating efficiency in the homes they view during the colder months. Whether you're looking to sell your home or stay comfortable in the one you have, a few hints on smart heating use will save you money and make those chilly winter nights a little cozier.
- Keep Those Home (Furnace) Fires Burning
Furnaces don't require much in the way of upkeep and are built to last 15 years or more. But neglecting basic maintenance can make your furnace less efficient and possibly shorten its life. Change the air filters on your furnace before you begin using heat in the fall and at least once during the winter. Having your furnace professionally inspected before you turn on the heat in autumn can help you spot problems before they literally leave you in the cold.
- Chills Out
Insulation keeps drafts out, helping stabilize temperature throughout the year. Check for drafts around windows and doors. You can block drafts in minutes with a variety of options, including thermal curtains and weatherstripping. Sealing windows with plastic is a good choice for the coldest part of winter.
- The Right Stuff
Some forms of insulation are DIY-friendly, but others, including spray foam, are best left to the pros. If you'd like to add spray foam insulation or would like to insulate a large portion of your home, consult a professional.
- Hot On the Spot
Fireplaces and space heaters may make a place feel cozy, but they are inefficient ways of heating your home and carry their own risks. Use them sparingly, and be mindful of maintenance and safety procedures.
- Right On Time
A minor but significant cause of heating inefficiency is not minding the thermostat. You may not be aware of how often you leave home without turning down the heat. A programmable thermostat removes that decision from your daily routine while allowing you the flexibility to adjust the temperature to your comfort. Thermostats connected to apps allow you to raise the heat before you come home or lower it in the midst of an unscheduled outing.
With a few hours of preparation and a relatively modest investment, you can keep your home warm all winter long without exorbitant heating bills. A home that makes the best use of climate control is a comfort to householders and guests alike. If you have any questions about energy efficiency and your home, contact us today.