As the bitter cold and snow hits the Delaware Valley, the following tips will help you save energy, money, and stay comfortable during the cold winter months.
1. Cover Drafty Doors and Windows
Use a heavy duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the winter months. Additionally, you can purchase a window or door kit from stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, and Lowes to cover drafty doors and windows.
2. Turn the Heat Down
Make sure to turn the heat down at night if no one is to be home. Some smart thermostats can be programmed and automatically adjust to times you are not at home. The cost of a smart thermostat will vary by the manufacturer but plan on spending at least $120 plus installation fees; you can also adjust the thermostat manually for free.
3. Leave Your Oven Door Open
After baking, leave the oven door open a bit. There’s a lot of heat coming from that oven, letting it escape can slightly warm up the kitchen and surrounding area.
4. Use a Space Heater
Use a space heater sparingly. Only use portable heaters in the current room where you are present. Never leave a heater running when you are not home or while you are sleeping. Be sure not to place the heater too close to anything that can catch fire easily and watch for overheating. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), around 1,200 fires happen per year from portable electric heaters.
5. Partially Close Vents
Many people will close or seal the heat vents in rooms they aren’t using. While this might seem like a good idea, you could cause the excess of air pressure in the HVAC system. Make sure you leave the vents in these unused rooms slightly open to allow for circulation and to protect the heat pump system.
6. Add Caulk or Weather Stripping
Add weather stripping around windows and doors. Weather stripping is a flexible product that is usually self-adhesive. Seal the tops, sides, and bottoms of doors and windows.
7. Maintain Your HVAC System
Schedule professional service for your HVAC system every year. One of the most common repairs is due to a dirty air filter. Make sure you replace your filter once a month or as needed, this will improve the efficiency of the furnace.
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