Winter is coming, or so goes the Game of Thrones quote. Well, it’s not here just yet. That said, preparing now will help you save money and energy come the colder months of the year. So, how can you do so?
1. Prevent Fireplace Heat loss
Fireplaces that use wood for fuel require a chimney and a cold air intake vent to run efficiently. While these vents are necessary, they can rob your house of the much-needed heat in winter. To prevent heat loss, ensure both the chimney and cold air inlet vents have an airtight door that can only be opened with the fireplace is in use. Some of the modern fireplaces come equipped with vents that can be opened and closed at will. The vents are meant to prevent heat loss especially when the fireplace is off. A Fireplace that mounts on the walls can be a good option as many are ethanol based and that’s a far more efficient heating source than fossil fuels like oil, coal or wood.
You can also invest in a fireplace door to help keep warm air in as well. While you may have to dig back in your pocket to acquire these, you get to save even more in energy savings in the long run. A chimney-top damper can also come in handy in preventing heat loss as well.
2. Quilted Curtains
Drafty windows contribute substantially to heat loss in winter. Although you may be tempted to turn up the heat to compensate for the lost heat, investing in quilted curtains would be a wise step. Quilted curtains have several layers or even padded to make it almost impossible for air to pass through. Installing quilted curtains on all windows helps create a heat-envelop in the house, thus no need to turn up the heat. These curtains come in various sizes, patterns, and colors fitting your theme or preferences.
3. Turn the Thermostat a Unit Down
While this may seem unrealistic, turning down the thermostat helps save heat in the long run. Setting the thermostat a few units down (at least 5 units) during winter reduces strain on the room heater, this translates to more energy savings. The reduced heat, however, means you have to put on warmer clothes to stay comfortable. The best part about turning down the heat is that your body eventually adjusts to surrounding temperature making you feel warm again. You could also invest in a space heater to heat rooms in use alone. It would be best to use an electric space heater instead of a fireplace to keep the rooms warm.
Oil-filled, baseboard and fan-forced electric heaters are the most preferred space heaters today. You, however, need an adequately sized electric heater to keep the room warm. Larger rooms will require a much bigger space heater, while a small, portable electric room heater is enough for smaller spaces. Additional features such as temperature control, remote control, and safety features can cause some of these heaters to be more expensive than those without. Consider your options before making the final decision on a purchase.
You could also use a towel warmer to heat up smaller spaces such as the bathroom. The towel warmer can be hardwired or plugged in when in use but should be turned off immediately after use to conserve energy.
4. Invest in an Infrared Thermometer
An infrared thermometer can help identify thermal leaks in the house. The handheld device uses infrared sensors to spot cold or warm regions in the house, regions that could signify poor insulation or an air leak. Some walking around is however required to detect areas that need fixing to prevent heat loss. Battery-operated infrared thermometers can be purchased online, and are available at very affordable prices.