Button Up Your Home for Winter
Forest Glen Construction
This afternoon, rain turned into snow right outside of Forest Glen Construction's office windows. The first snow of the season had us thinking that we should share some tips on how to help you prepare your home for winter.
For some, winter might mean getting cozy by the fire, enjoying hot cocoa and football games, while some might be thinking, higher heating and energy bills. So, we've put together a list of 5 tips you can follow that might ease your bill paying anxiety and keep a few extra bucks in your pocket this winter.
1. Install a programmable thermostat. Some thermostats allow four daily settings, which can help save 10-20% of your heating bill. Setting lower temperatures at night, while you are out of the house during the day, or away on vacation has the potential to save you big bucks this winter. Follow this chart for daily thermostat settings:
6 a.m. - 9 a.m. = 68 degrees
9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. = 60 degrees
5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m. = 68 degrees
11 p.m. - 6 a.m. = 60 degrees
2. Move furniture away from vents, registers and radiators. During the summer, pushing back furniture creates larger space when vents aren't being used for heat. In the winter, it's important to move furniture away from heating vents and radiators to not block heat flow from entering the room. Forced air system blocks a supply and return of warm air leaving you with a cold room and wasted money. Blocking warm air can also cause a house-wide pressure imbalance that disrupts the entire home's heating system.
3. Change your furnace filter. Changing your furnace filter can save up to 5% on your energy bill while simultaneously keeping the dust in your home at a minimum. The average size of duct filters are 16x20 and when purchased in bulk, each filter costs around $0.50 by box. Be sure to check your filter size before purchasing because they can be as large as 30x30. Changing your furnace filter once a month during the heating season will help your furnace system last longer and it will be less likely to break when you need it most. It is also a very affordable way to save money on your energy bill.
4. Lower your water heater temperature. Hot water is used most during the winter months. Flush your water heater to eliminate sediment buildup which can cause corrosion, reduce heating efficiency, and shorten the lifespan of your water heater. Decrease the temperature from 140 to 120 to keep up with the demand and take showers instead of baths.
5. Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan. During the cooler months, change the direction of your ceiling fan so that it rotates clockwise allowing an upward draft to redistribute warm air.
For more information about how to make your home more energy efficient this winter, visit the EnergyStar website here: http://www.doe.gov/public-services/homes