The U.S. Department of Energy has estimated that as much as 30% of energy in a home is wasted because of drafts. However, there are a few fixes that you can accomplish yourself that can cut down on this and make your home more energy efficient. One way is to use the old fashioned draft snake to keep cold air from entering your home or warm air from escaping under the door.
The old snake at the door is a great solution, but there are some even better ideas that will go a lot farther in creating a warmer climate indoors when the weather is cold outside during long winter months.
One of the best ways to add to the energy efficiency of your heater is to have regular heater maintenance performed each year. Your professional HVAC service company can schedule this for you and that way there will be no need to worry that everything is all set when outside temperatures begin inching their way toward the freezing mark. Heating service will also increase the efficiency of this appliance. If you are thinking about new heater installation, this is a good time to discuss that with your HVAC contractor.
While doing heater maintenance, professional technicians typically replace or clean the furnace filter. However, there is no reason to wait until they stop by. A good practice is to check and clean the filter at least one time each month during winter, and if it is a dual use system with air conditioning included, it is also a good idea to schedule it into your calendar every month during the year. A clean filter means better airflow which will decrease the energy demands on your furnace as it works harder to keep up when the filter is dirty.
You may have never thought of it, but did you know that running your ceiling fans during the winter will help keep warm air distributed to where you need it most. Hot air rises, so if you can keep it lower in the room you and your family will stay more comfortable. Just switch the fan to a clockwise direction to circulate the air back into your living spaces and you could actually cut energy costs by 10% during the winter.
If you don’t have them already installed on your home, consider installing storm windows and doors to increase its energy efficiency by as much as 45%. This will reduce unwanted air flow by sealing off drafts. The good thing about storm windows is that you can remove them during warmer months so that it is easier to let in cool breezes and reinstall them as the weather begins to get colder.