Starting to dread those cold nights and inflated heating bills?
From rearranging your furniture to laying down rugs, there are steps you can take to heat your home for less as temperatures start to drop.
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but summer is coming to an end. That means it’s time to bust out those fuzzy socks and start preparing your home for the cooler months.
There’s nothing better than coming home after a long day out in the cold, firing up the heating, and planting yourself in front of the TV. At the same time, there’s nothing worse than seeing your inflated heating bill at the end of the winter. Not only can this time of year be uncomfortable, but it can also be extremely costly considering that heating is the largest source of energy consumption in homes.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your home clean, warm, and cozy this fall and winter, while keeping your heating costs down and saving money in the process.
1. Limit build-up of dust and dirt
Starting to think about those Thanksgiving and holiday gatherings?
Consider asking your guests to leave their shoes at the door.
According to a study from the University of Arizona, there are more than 400,000 units of bacteria on the outside of one shoe. And 90% to 99% of these foreign materials spread to the floors in your home.
In addition to affecting the cleanliness of your home, and potentially serving as a detriment to your health, build-up of dirt and dust in your vents can actually impede the ability for heat to circulate.
So, to keep your home both clean and warm, preventing dirt from getting inside would be a good place to start. The best way to accomplish this? Placing mats at each entrance and leaving shoes at the door. Beyond that, you’ll also want to make sure you’re vacuuming and mopping more consistently to catch any of the dirt and dust that is bound to accumulate.
2. Rearrange your furniture
Has it been a while since you’ve rearranged your furniture?
This might be the time to do it.
If you have a sofa, chair, bed, or other piece of bulky furniture blocking your radiators or vents, that means they’re also blocking the warm air from flowing freely. In turn, it’ll take your room longer to heat up, and you’ll be spending more on your energy bills.
Moving your furniture away from your heating appliances, even just a little bit, can go a long way toward keeping your home warm and saving a few bucks this winter.
3. Don’t forget about the windows
Did you know that, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, 30% of a home’s heating energy is lost through the windows? That’s right. The warm air in your home is, quite literally, going out the window.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
For starters, you should seal any cracks around your windows with caulking and/or weatherstripping to stop the cold air from getting in. You can also use thermal curtains, thick drapes, and other window coverings to accomplish this. Just make sure to keep them closed at night. Conversely, don’t be afraid to open them up during the day to let the sunlight in.
4. Install heated tile floors
One of the most effective and energy-efficient ways to keep your home warm and cozy?
Also known as radiant floor heating or underfloor heating, these floors heat up your rooms evenly from the ground up — unlike radiators or forced-air systems, which depend on the placement of your air ducts and vents. So, not only will heated floors keep your feet nice and toasty when you crawl out of bed, head down to the basement, or step out of the shower onto those cold bathroom tiles, they’ll also warm up your rooms much quicker and help keep them that way when the heating is turned off.
As a result, you’ll reduce energy consumption in your home by anywhere from 10% to 30%, according to the Radiant Professionals Alliance, which could result in significant cost savings!