I am sitting here watching the snow fall outside, a rare thing to behold in Anacortes. Inside I am warm and cozy on this cold winter day. But am I being energy conscious on these cold winter days? Over half of our energy bill is used to heat our homes during the winter. So, how do we make our home more cost and energy efficient and not sacrifice comfort and warmth?
Let’s start with the thermostat. Our inclination is to turn it up. There is no set-in-stone answer but there are some tips on how to use if more effectively. It is best to use a programmable thermostat so you can vary the temperature throughout the day. At night, turn it down, after all you are in a warm and cozy bed, but keep it at a decent temperature to keep the house comfortable, your pets warm, and keep your pipes from freezing. If you work away from home, turn it down, then program it to heat up the home an hour or so before you return so that a warm home invites you in after a hard day at work. This will maintain an optimal comfort level in your home and make your furnace work more efficiently. Keeping the temperature the same all the time is not smart for your heating bill.
Here is a great article, 7 Ways you’re making your furnace work too hard.
On Energy.gov they talk about the best use of a thermostat.
If your home feels colder than normal it may be because the humidity is too low. I know that’s hard to believe based on where we live, but when we are colder the air can be drier. Moist air holds the heat better and can make your home feel warmer. You may need to run a humidifier once in a while.
Winter weather can wreak havoc on our electric bill. In this article there is some advice on how to lower that ever-expanding utility bill.
You may want to explore the Sustainable Energy Challenge and see if your home is energy efficient. This great organization can help you find support for energy retrofits and testing your home for efficiency.
Winter weather is harsh on indoor air quality. The house may be all warm and cozy, but it is also closed up and a shut off from proper ventilation and fresh air. Find out more about polluted indoor air quality and tips on how to help prevent it in this article.
Follow some of these tips and then sit back and enjoy the warm coziness of a winter day and remember that Spring is just around the corner. 🙂