Tips for Managing Heat Changes in the Fall
November 17, 2015
One thing that can greatly impact your energy bill in the fall and winter is fluctuations in the outdoor temperature, requiring you to turn your heat up or down to maintain a comfortable temperature in your house. Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to regulate your home’s temperature in the cold winter months without changing the thermostat.
Give Your Heating System a Check-Up
Since a furnace or boiler is probably the main source of your home’s heat, making sure it is in fully optimized order will go a long way in maintaining a stable temperature in your home this winter.
- Have a professional check your HVAC system. If you haven’t had a professional do this in the past year, do it before the cold settles in. A professional can ensure your furnace or boiler is clean, its controls and components are in good shape, and it’s ready to efficiently provide you warmth this winter.
- Clean or replace your furnace’s air filter every four to six weeks. Air passes through a clean air filter more easily than a dirty one, requiring your furnace to do less work to push warm air into your house.
Keep the Warm Air in and the Cold Air Out
Once you know your furnace, boiler, or heat pump is in tip-top shape, start working to make sure you’re keeping warm air in the house—and cold air out of it.
- Install insulation. If you’re not sure whether your house is adequately insulated, a professional can inspect it to let you know. There are a few key places that need adequate insulation, including the attic and the basement. If you own a 1 to 4 unit home, you may be eligible for 75% up to $2,000 toward the installation of approved insulation improvements. Click here to learn more.
- Use sunlight to warm your house. Sunlight provides easy and free heat. So during the day, when the sun is shining bright, open blinds and drapes to allow the sunlight to warm rooms. Consider repositioning your furniture to take advantage of this sunlight, so that when you’re home during the day, you can sit in the warm sunlight, taking even more advantage of that free heat.
- Check for leaks in and around windows, doors, and vents. Seal them—or have a professional seal them—with caulk or other material.
- Keep cold air from coming in the fireplace. Install a door and keep the damper closed when it’s not in use to keep cold air entering your chimney from flowing into your home.
- Keep doors and windows closed. This may seem obvious, but it is not so easily followed. You may be prone to leaving the door open longer than necessary when kids are entering and leaving the house or you’re bringing in groceries.
Manage the Temperature
With your furnace, boiler, or heat pump optimized, your home properly insulated, and air leaks sealed, you can more reliably manage the actual temperature in your home. Another good way to do this is to install a wireless enabled or 7-day programmable thermostat. These devices help you change your home’s temperature at pre-determined times throughout the day, so you’re not heating your home when it doesn’t need to be (for example, when you’re away from home or asleep). Also, plan to keep the temperature at a comfortable level. 68 degrees Fahrenheit is generally quite comfortable.
Take these steps to manage your home’s temperature this fall and winter, and you’ll find that the outdoor temperature will have less of an impact on the indoor temperature. Your house will stay warmer and more comfortable — and you’ll save on your energy bills.
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