Winter can lead to some pretty high heating bills in much of the country. People have many options for heat. In the Northeast, people tend to use heating oil. In much of the rest of the country, people use electric heat pumps or gas furnaces. Still others will use wood stoves or fireplaces to heat their homes. For all but those who use wood for heating, a thermostat is a necessity for regulating the temperature. If you use a thermostat, you’ll want to take steps to avoid some of the cost that comes with keeping your home warm in the winter.
One option for keeping your use of fossil fuels down is the use of renewable sources of energy. Some people utilize geothermal systems to cut down on their use of fossil fuels. Solar panels are another option. Both of these sources are renewable, and they’ll also cut down on the amount you can expect to pay for heating.
Better Energy Alternatives
If you’re looking to cut down on your environmental footprint, solar panels or geothermal heating are both great options. You might also want to replace your furnace if it’s getting old. You don’t want to wind up with no heat during the coldest days of the winter. Additionally, you can cut down on your use of energy with a newer unit that’s more efficient. Each HVAC system has a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, also known as a SEER rating. Units built just a decade ago might have had a SEER rating of 10 or 12. Today, most states require a minimum of 13 or 14, but there are also units that have SEER ratings of 20. The higher the number, the more efficient your system will be.
Colder Area Energy Saving Tips
If you live in Alabama or Arizona, you’ll probably need to use your heating system sparingly during the winter. On the other hand, if you call Minnesota or the one of the Dakotas home, you’ll probably need to run your furnace nearly nonstop between October and April. Paying attention to these winter energy saving tips can help you cut down on your energy usage during the winter.
Simply upgrading to a programmable thermostat is a great way to avoid having to turn it up and down on a daily basis. You can set the temperature lower during the day while you’re at work. You can automatically turn it down a bit at night when you’re in bed. If you want to have it warm when you get home, have the thermostat adjust so that it heats your home right before you’d normally get off work.
Adding insulation can also help you save on energy costs. Most of a home’s heat is lost through the roof. Another layer of insulation can slow this heat loss down, and it could also help you cut down on the use of your furnace. More insulation could help your family’s bottom line and reduce your environmental footprint at the same time.
Things To Do To Keep Warm
You can seal off any gaps between your windows and doors if you’re looking to cut down on your use of energy. These openings into your home are notorious for letting drafty air into your home. Failing to seal your windows and doors will mean that you need to run your furnace more frequently.
Adding a sweater or another layer of clothes can also help you avoid running to turn the thermostat up. If you add some more clothes, you probably won’t need to turn up the heat as much as people who like to lounge around in shorts and a tank top. If you get too hot, you can always shed the outer layer until you get cold.
Another simple step that you can take to stay warm without constantly running your furnace is opening your blinds. If your family has windows that face south, you can take advantage of the sunlight during the day. This energy from the sun can help your house stay warm. Once the sun starts to get low in the sky, simply close the blinds to provide a little bit of additional insulation against the cold.
You don’t necessarily need to spend thousands to avoid changing the thermostat during the winter. Taking advantage of these tips can help you save money on your heating costs this winter.