Walking into a cozy home after an cold, icy walk outside is probably one of the best feelings of winter. However, as the temperatures continue to dip, maintaining a properly heated home is essential to get through the bitterly cold months. Unfortunately, however, many homeowners struggle with this very issue. Simply cranking the heat may not be the answer to bringing the house up to ambient levels, but it can most definitely hike your electricity bills.
Thankfully, there is much you can do to make sure your home stays warm and the cost doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. And no, wrapping yourself into a burrito isn’t one of them.
Are the Duct Dampers Open?
Dampers are plate-shaped mechanisms that open or close to regulate the amount of air passing through the duct and vents.
To open the damper, turn the lever at a position where it’s parallel with the duct. This allows the air to flow through the ducts to its fullest. Or turn the lever to a horizontal position to the duct and close it.
If adjusting the dampers doesn’t resolve the heat problem, it’s best to bring in professionals to look at the ductwork.
A Fireplace Plug Can Improve Warmth
A crackling wood fire on cold nights feels excellent, but with no fire, your fireplace lets in winter drafts, taxing your heating systems and ramping up your energy bills.
Fireplace plugs solve the problem of energy loss through chimneys. They prevent the outside air from entering by blocking the fireplace when the fireplace isn’t in use.
A fireplace plug can be temporary or permanent and comes in different sizes and shapes. Ask a professional which fireplug will suit your fireplace before you purchase one.
Is the Furnace Filter Filthy?
A dirty furnace filter is one of the most common causes of heating troubles (and one of the most ignored causes). Your furnace uses a fan to circulate and recycle warm air throughout the home to maintain the thermostat temperature. The circulation fan pulls more power to distribute air if the furnace air filter is dirty and clogged. No points for guessing how this will reflect on your electricity bills! Replace dirty air filters quarterly or at least twice a year to have optimum warming around the home.
Add Duct-Booster Fans when Needed
There are occasions when a duct booster fan may be the right approach for increasing airflow in ductwork. For example, if a room upstairs remains too cold, a booster fan might be the answer for a duct line that runs too long. But again, only an experienced HVAC technician will be able to make that determination.
Let the Sun Shine
A natural solution to enhance the warmth in your home is to open up the curtains and let in the sunlight during the daytime. But remember to draw them as soon as it starts to get dark. For this reason, heavy, dark colored curtains work best during winters. That said, if your windows are old and drafty, you might want to consider replacing them, as curtains won’t be an effective barrier against the outside elements.
Reverse Ceiling Fans Are For Winters
Winters call for reverse spinning ceiling fans. Since warm air rises, the air near the ceiling can be three to four degrees warmer than air near the floor. A ceiling fan that spins clockwise draws cooler air up and forces warmer air near the ceiling down and out towards the walls. Additionally, it’s best to run the fan at a low speed to not create too much of a cooling breeze.
Radiant Floor Heat is The Next Best Thing
If you’re planning a remodel, consider looking into radiant floor heating, whether electric or hydronic. Radiant heating is better than baseboard and forced-air heating as it removes the chance of duct losses. And, while traditional heaters are typically cranked to 149-167 Fahrenheit, radiant floor heating runs at 84 degrees Fahrenheit. And so, it consumes less energy.
Because floor heating has a constant output, you don’t have uneven warming across each room, and the heat stays where you need it the most- near your feet.
Check Air Sealing and Insulation in the Attic
Much of a home’s winter energy efficiency depends on how well your attic is insulated and sealed. When your attic and the access are not properly sealed, the warm air from the lower floors can escape into the attic and possibly even through the attic walls. Blown-in attic insulations both work well in winter, whereas multi-layer or reflective attic insulation can work by keeping heat out of your attic by reflecting back to its source.
Get an Inspection
Instead of playing the guessing game, contact Perry Brothers Construction for a house inspection to ensure there is no unwanted heat transfer and you can relax in a comfy home during the winters.