When guests arrive for the holidays this year, perhaps staying three times longer than you’d anticipated, there are ways to keep your home heated without running your furnace all day (and racking up your energy bill).
The key is keeping any available heat inside the house as long as possible. Knowing your heat sources (and exits) is important. Here are our top tips and tricks for keeping your home warm during the holidays:
Stop drafts from coming into your home.
As you prepare for the event, do a quick audit of your home to discover the source of any drafts. Replace door seals, repair window caulking and add insulation to electrical receptacles. Make sure your windows are closed tight and locked. You can do most of this yourself with repair kits from your local hardware store. Small cracks let in more cool air than you realize.
Buy a space heater.
Space heaters are perfect for adding more heat to specific areas of your home where people will gather. There are three types of space heaters to consider: Radiant heaters live on the floor and quickly warm a small area. Ceramic heaters are better for heating bigger areas and are labeled by the amount of square footage they effectively heat. Oil heaters are the most efficient for heating large areas and are typically more expensive. They don’t actually run on oil, electricity heats their inner core of oil, providing ambient heat to the surrounding environment.
Use drapes and blinds to your advantage.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, layered window treatments can reduce your energy use and heat loss up to 25 percent. Drapes should consist of three layers: decorative fabric, interlining and a window-side layer made of fully opaque lining. This setup will keep warm air inside if it’s dark or cool outside. However, when the sun is out, we recommend keeping your shades open. The sun will shine through the glass and create warmth throughout your home. Plus, you will save the extra energy it takes to light your home!
Reverse the direction of your ceiling fan.
This is one of the oldest tricks that actually works. Reversing your fan’s direction in the winter to clockwise will create an updraft pushing warm air from the ceiling back down.
Cover your floors with rugs.
Heat escapes through floor boards. Trap extra heat by using rugs made of insulating fabrics, such as wool. The rugs make the floor feel warmer and your feet nice and cozy!
Close rooms you aren’t using.
If you won’t be using the guest bedrooms when hosting, close the vents and doors, so you don’t waste money heating unused areas of your home.
While your furnace is essential to staying warm over the winter months, you can follow these tips and tricks in order to reduce heat loss. These recommendations won’t eliminate the need to use your furnace over the holidays, but they should allow your furnace to work more efficiently, ultimately saving you money and energy. As always, don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you have any questions. Happy Holidays!