Keeping your house warm during the fall and winter is a huge priority for all homeowners, and there are smarter ways to do it than just cranking up the thermostat. As the temperature falls, environmental and economic concerns rise due to the impact our heating habits have. Energy efficient home heating is a great way to address these concerns, so use this guide to better understand how to responsibly keep warm during the cold season ahead.
Economic and Environmental Costs of Heating
Being a homeowner comes with a significant amount of responsibility. Several household appliances tend to put a lot of strain on your wallet as well as the environment, so it’s important to know what steps you can take to be financially savvy and environmentally friendly.
Out of all residential energy used in the United States, 50% is used for heating, cooling, and ventilation. This amount of energy is a huge contributor to pollution. According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, home heating and cooling account for approximately 441 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. Reducing your household’s carbon footprint is an impactful way to make a positive change for the earth.
Conserving money is just as important as conserving energy. According to the Department of Energy, the largest energy expense in the average United States home is heating, clocking in at 45% of the typical energy bill. Depending on the source, heating a 2200 square foot house ranges between $1,095 and $2,632 per year. It can be difficult to find a balance between staying comfortable during the harsh winter and not spending a fortune on home heating.
Energy Efficient Home Heating Tips
There are several energy efficient home heating methods you can do yourself with a little extra effort and planning. Simple hacks can help bring down heating costs and combining them with energy efficient home heating renovations is even more effective. The following tips are easy ways to save money, cut down on energy consumption, and stay cozy.
Energy Efficient Changes You Can Make to Your Home
Consult with a contractor—If you aren’t sure what renovations your home could benefit from, try consulting with a general contractor. They can perform a full walkthrough of your residence and spot any flaws or opportunities that can be addressed to improve energy efficiency.
Replace old windows—Some windows are so far gone that they need more than simple reinforcement. A professional contractor can replace your current windows and ensure they are properly insulated. They can also assist you in choosing the most beneficial window treatments for optimal energy efficiency.
Advanced house framing—New-build homes and additions to current homes can be made with advanced house framing. This method of building is also known as optimum value engineering and is an energy efficient way to keep your house warmer in the winter thanks to more efficient and abundant insulation and less wood in the framing.
Install carpets—Hardwood and tile floors can feel like ice on your feet during the winter. Installing carpeting over these floors will make them far more comfortable. Try having a contractor install carpeting in your living room, basement, bedroom, or any frequently used area of your household.
Keep the Cold Out of Your Home
Though generating heat is obviously an important part of creating a warmer home, keeping the cold out is just as crucial.
Weatherize windows—Insulate your windows by attaching plastic film. There are several kits available and they’re very cost-effective. Make sure you follow the directions for installation closely or else they can look blurry and unsightly. Also, consider stripping your windows by installing rubber weather-proof tape that closes any gaps on your window frames.
Seal leaks—There could be several points of entry for cold air in your home that you’re unaware of. Different spots could include under the door, plumbing pipes, recessed lighting, chimneys and more. Do a complete inspection of your house, yourself or with a general contractor, to identify these locations and seal them accordingly.
Smarter Ways to Heat Your Home
It’s time to think smarter, not harder. The following methods are steps you can take to more effectively heat your home and prevent inefficiency.
Inspect your heating system—If your heating system has gone unchecked for a while, you should schedule an inspection by an HVAC company. Your system should be regularly maintained and serviced in order to improve its functionality and prevent it from becoming significantly damaged. Different heating systems require different tune-ups, so consult with an HVAC professional to find out your system’s needs.
Optimize airflow—Help your heating system do it’s job. Make sure you close off unused rooms, so they aren’t being unnecessarily heated. Keep the doors on frequently used rooms open so the warm air can freely flow through them. Also, the direction your ceiling fan is turning has an impact on the airflow of your home. Set your fans to turn clockwise so the rising warm air is blown downwards.
Use a programmable thermostat—A programmable thermostat will allow you to control when and how your home is heated, giving you the opportunity to be more energy efficient. Choose a reasonable temperature that you’re comfortable with. Then, program the thermostat to reduce by at least 7 degrees for eight hours a day. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this can save 10% on heating and cooling costs a year.
Utilize the sun—Using the natural heat created by sunlight is a smart way to warm your home during the day. Open the curtains on your windows that face south and allow the light to come through. During the night, use insulating curtains to cut down on the cold.
A Reliable General Contractor for Energy Efficient Home Heating Renovations
Mancill Builders has served Delaware County for over 40 years and has the experience to help you warm hour house while saving you money. We can provide you with a professional consultation to determine what energy efficient home heating renovations your household could benefit from. Our experts can install carpeting, replace windows, implement upgraded house framing, and perform several other renovations that will significantly improve your home. Don’t wait—contact Mancill Builders today so we can help keep you warm and save money this winter!