Keeping your home warm and comfortable during the colder months is not always easy, especially if you live in an older home. There are small improvements you can make so your current heating system is more effective at heating your home.
Adjust Air Vents Separately
Remember, heat rises, which can give you a false sense of temperature inside your home when you have multiple floors. You may want to partially close air vents upstairs to prevent the upper levels from overheating, while the temperature downstairs may continue to feel cold. Adjusting the air vents on different floors can prevent overburdening your heating system and help circulate more warm air to parts of your home where it is needed.
Take Advantage Of Natural Heat
You probably have several rooms throughout your home that receive direct sunlight, and you should take advantage of the daylight hours. When possible, open the blinds and curtains of windows that receive direct sunlight to reduce the burden on your heating system. You may need to change which blinds you open throughout the day as the sun's position changes.
Stop Drafts From Windows
Stand next to the windows to determine if you feel any cold air coming inside from the window or frame. If you feel cold air seeping in, a quick fix is to use low tack tape to help seal around the window frame or individual windowpanes. Artist or masking tape can help minimize drafts until you can find a long-term solution and should not leave any residue or damage your paint. Another solution for window drafts is to purchase an indoor window insulation kit, which contains shrink plastic to cover your windows.
Be Mindful Of Fireplaces
Install fireplace doors to prevent warm air from escaping through the chimney when it is not in use. You may have a fireplace in addition to a heating system, and it is often more efficient to just rely on your heating system. If you do not intend to use your fireplace for heating, install a fireplace plug or balloon. A fireplace plug can prevent warm air from leaving your home through the chimney and colder air from entering. You can use a plug year-round to help with temperature control and it can be removed when needed.
You may not consider using portable or ceiling fans during the colder months, but they can be useful to circulate warm air throughout your home. Fans are only useful if you use them correctly. For example, positioning a portable fan in front of a floor vent can help the heated air spread. Similarly, turning on your ceiling fans can help move warm air around as it rises toward the ceiling. Your fans need to be on the lowest speed to circulate the air without decreasing the temperature. Using fans in certain rooms of your home can be helpful if you often have cold spots in rooms, such as near exterior walls.
Step Away From The Wall
If your furniture is arranged so it touches exterior walls, you may want to reconsider the placement. Beds, sofas and chairs that touch exterior walls can make you feel colder. On colder days, you can easily touch the wall and notice a significant temperature difference between the wall and the ambient temperature inside your home. This noticeable temperature difference usually comes from poorly insulated walls. Since it is not always easy or affordable to have insulation installed, minimize contact between your furniture and the walls to help keep your furniture closer to the temperature inside your home.
No matter the time of year, it is always the right time to consider efficiency. In addition to regular servicing of your heating system, there are free or inexpensive ways you can make your system more efficient, without sacrificing comfort. For additional reading, follow the link in this sentence.