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Tips for heating your home more efficiently

January and February bring the coldest temperatures of the year to Richmond. Those cold temperatures can bring about big heating bills that leave you looking for ways to heat your home more efficiently. It makes sense to target your heating bills to save money: Home heating and cooling accounts for 40 percent of your energy consumption.

Fortunately, you don’t have to fall victim to your home heating bills. There are several things you can do to heat your home more efficiently and lower your energy costs. Here are our best tips to reduce your home energy bills.

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  • Seal gaps around doors and windows. Anywhere between 7 and 12 percent of a home’s heat is lost around the doors and windows. You can seal that heat in with weather stripping, caulking or plastic sheeting, and by addressing thresholds to be air tight.
  • Consider zone heating. Focus your energy resources on heating the rooms your family spends the most time in. Installing a heating stove, fireplace or space heater in the rooms your family spends the most time in can allow you to turn down the thermostat for the rest of the house. For each degree you turn your thermostat back by, you save 3 percent on your heating bill.
  • Don’t let heat escape up the chimney. An open chimney flue is no better than an open window, allowing hot air to flow out of your home. Make sure you always close your damper when you don’t have a fire burning in your fireplace. You can take other measures to keep heat from flowing up the chimney, as well, including an air-tight top-sealing damper or an inflatable chimney balloon.
  • Install a programmable thermostat. Take advantage of technology with a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats allow you to adjust your home’s temperature based on your home usage. Have the temperature turn down when you leave for work, then reheat when it’s time for you to return home.
  • Have your heating appliances serviced annually. Annual maintenance is the key to keeping your home heating appliances running as efficiently as possible. Make sure you have your furnace, heating stove or fireplace cleaned and inspected annually, and replace your furnace filters each year.
  • Take advantage of the sun’s rays. Even when the temperature outside is freezing, the sun’s rays still have heating power. On sunny days, open your blinds and windows to allow the sun to heat your rooms. Make sure to close the drapes when the sun sets, and consider installing insulating curtains.
  • Use your fireplace or heating stove! EPA-certified stoves, whether they’re wood burning, gas or pellet, can be an extremely efficient way to heat your home. They emit little pollution while heating your home more for a lower cost than a traditional furnace.

Take control of your home’s heating bills. Put some of our tips into play to increase your home’s energy efficiency.

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