Top 8 Winter Energy Savings Tips
While Southern California offers some of the country’s best weather most of the year, December and January can be cold! Before cranking up the heater (and your energy bills), consider these top winter energy-saving tips.
1. Capture the Sun’s Warmth.
Open the curtains on southward-facing windows during daylight hours. Close all curtains at night to keep the heat in.
Wear sweaters, warm socks, and even hats indoors to keep yourself warm at lower home temperatures. In rooms with hard floors, add rugs to keep everyone’s feet warm.
3. Heat Strategically.
a) If you and your family/housemates usually hang out in only one or two rooms, use space heaters in those rooms, and turn down the thermostat significantly.
b) Drop the thermostat by 10 or 15 degrees when everyone is out of the house. Doing that for 8 hours a day can save you 10% each year on your energy bills!
c) Don’t block air vents. There’s no point in having a warm couch or warm curtains if they’re keeping the warmth from entering the rest of the room.
d) Turn your water heater to 120 degrees. In the winter, that usually still feels plenty warm.
4. Be Kind to Your Furnace.
Check its air filter at the beginning of the winter season and once a month during it. Replace the filter if it starts looking dirty or clogged with pet fur. And it’s a good idea to have your furnace checked out by a professional yearly, even if you don’t use it very often. Minor tweaks/repairs can create significant savings in your energy bills.
5. Consider Adding Humidity
Moist air is easier to heat, and it holds the heat longer. When the weather turns to a dry cold, a humidifier can boost your furnace’s heating power.
6. Reverse the Flow of Your Ceiling Fans.
Running your fans clockwise at a low speed in the winter will gently push hot air back down into the room.
7. Avoid Kithen and Bathroom Fans.
These ventilation fans are designed to blow air up into the attic or out of your home. Keep your warm air inside by using them as little as possible.
8. And now for a don't...
Don’t close the air vents in the rooms you’re not using, thinking that this will cut down on your energy bill. Vents aren’t designed to be air-tight, and air from the furnace will still escape into the room. Closing vents even has the possibility of reducing the overall efficiency of your heating system—meaning higher costs.