Energy-Saving Tips for the Winter
Does your utility bill seem to get higher every winter? Is your average heating bill higher than your average cooling bill? In addition to annual fall maintenance on your home, there are several simple procedures that a homeowner can follow to ensure energy savings throughout the Washington winter. The technicians at Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning want to ensure our Mountlake Terrace neighbors have all the tools to keep comfortable and energy-efficient during the coldest months. We’ve compiled a list of helpful tips recommended by the Energy.Gov site, a comprehensive resource for energy facts and figures. Just following a few of these procedures could save you a considerable amount on your utility bill – and ensure a warmer, healthier winter for your household.
Many older homes have windows that are slightly drafty, especially in cold and windy conditions. Not every homeowner can afford to replace their old windows – and not all drafty windows need to be replaced. One of the easiest fixes for a home with drafty windows is to secure them with temporary insulation for the winter. Window insulator kits are available in most home improvement stores and make the process very simple. Most feature clear insulation film that can be easily applied to window panes to keep out the cold air. This insulation is non-invasive and can easily be removed at any time. You can also improve energy efficiency by purchasing insulating drapes or shades. Most designs are ideal for year-round insulation and are available in a variety of stylish designs and colors.
Fireplace Heat Loss
Fireplace heat loss is a big problem in Washington homes, especially older, drafty homes. Always keep the fireplace damper closed until a fire is burning. If a damper is open in the winter, all your home’s warm air will escape through the chimney. Check the seal on the flue damper to ensure that it fits snugly into place when closed. When a fire is lit, you can greatly reduce heat loss by opening the dampers located at the bottom of the fire box. If there are no lower dampers, open the nearest window about an inch and close all the doors connected to the room. If your fireplace is older and has visible cracking, consider adding caulk around the hearth.
Keeping a close eye on your thermostat during the winter can help greatly with energy consumption. A programmable thermostat can assist with this endeavor even more, but the same result can be accomplished with any thermostat design. Find the lowest heat setting that your family finds comfortable and keep it there during the day when people are present. You will find that a moderate setting in a well-insulated house is more than sufficient – even when the outside temperature is well below freezing. When your family is asleep or out of the house for the day, turning the heat down 10 – 15 degrees can help you save as much as 10% on your utilities.
Ceiling Fan Advantage
If you own a ceiling fan, you can make the most of your heated air by reversing the direction in the winter. Run the fan at a low speed and make sure that it revolves clockwise. The blades moving in this direction will push the hot air down, trapping the heat inside the room. This can help maximize a lower heating temperature when there are people in the room to feel it.
Add a Humidifier
The air in Mountlake Terrace can get very dry in the winter. Dry air in your home can be detrimental to your health and your home. Dry air also feels colder, which doesn’t help when you are trying to keep utilities down. Humidity can help the air feel warmer and will hold the heat better than dry air. A humidifier can help a home feel more comfortable when you are heating at a lower setting. Consider getting a portable humidifier to help add moisture to the air.
Blue Flame Heating & Air Conditioning hopes that our Mountlake Terrace neighbors enjoy an energy-efficient winter season. If you feel that your heating system is not running efficiently, we can help with a thorough maintenance check. Call us at 206-388-5667 to schedule a tune-up today!