Energy-Efficient Ways to Stay Warm and Cozy this Fall
We all know the feeling of waking up in the morning, and not being able to get out of bed. The cold air is chilly and you don’t want to leave your cozy blankets. When fall arrives, we look for ways to stay warm during cold mornings.
You could always turn up the heat, but there are ways to use beneficial electrification to stay warm without breaking the bank. So, bake some cookies or a pumpkin pie to kickstart the season! The aroma of chocolate chip cookies or a warm pie in the oven will create the perfect fall atmosphere.
While you’re at it, here are some other ways to help keep your house warm, cozy, and energy-efficient this fall season.
Fall Tips for a Cozy, Energy Efficient Home
Make sure all doors and windows are air-sealed. Windows and doors, especially in older homes, are a major source of cold air drafts and heat loss. Air sealing your home is a simple, effective, and relatively inexpensive way to maintain comfortable temperatures. Caulk any cracks and openings between the wall of your home and the door and window frames, and weatherstrip around the interior of the doors and window sashes.
Replace or clean your furnace or heat pump filter to reduce wear and tear on your equipment and save money. A dirty air filter slows airflow and makes equipment work harder (more energy use) and excessive dust build-up can cause equipment to fail earlier than it should. Try to replace your filter every 3 months.
If you have a furnace, lowering the temperature in your home with a day or night time setback, by just a couple of degrees can give you significant long-term savings. You can also purchase a smart thermostat, a Wi-Fi-enabled and automatically adjust temperature settings based on your habits and preferences. Your home will be maintained at a comfortable temperature when you are home, and will automatically adjust when it recognizes that no one is home to save energy.
According to energy.gov, if you have a furnace, setting your thermostat back can save you up to 10% on your energy bills! It is recommended to set your thermostat to 68 degrees in the winter to achieve the best savings.
During the winter months, closing curtains or blinds can reduce up to 10% of heat loss from a room. However, opening them on sunny days helps warm a room naturally with solar energy by letting in sunlight through windows that receive a lot of sunlight during the day. Just remember to close the curtains at night to reduce warm air loss overnight.
For homeowners with a heat pump (ducted or ductless) do not use a large nighttime or daytime setback. You will be more comfortable and save more money if you “set it and forget it”. If you do start to feel you need more warm air first try turning up the thermostat fan speed.
Keep warm air circulating with ceiling fans rotating clockwise (the reverse rotation switch can be found on most ceiling fans). The clockwise movement of the fan produces an updraft, moving the warm air that collects near your ceiling down into the rest of the room.
Radiant floor heating is a great way to create energy-efficient heat and can be installed in new construction or as an addition to your current home. Unlike traditional radiators which can make a room feel chilly or too hot, underfloor heating does not overheat – instead, it achieves the temperature you set by using an on-the-wall thermostat. Electric radiant heating systems don't require ventilation, either, so you'll have cleaner indoor air quality without drafts.
Heat pumps are also a great way to heat the entire home during the colder seasons. Unlike furnaces, a heat pump does not generate heat. Instead, it takes energy that can be found in the air, ground, or water sources surrounding your home and moves that heat into your home. Heat pumps can be used with radiant floor systems or ducted systems in a home in addition to ductless systems. Ductless systems are the most flexible heating system that allows you to heat an entire home or just add a unit to tackle cold spots like over a garage or a basement.
Creating a comfortable environment for your home will make the fall and winter months more pleasant and save on energy costs. For further energy-saving tips, check out Tips for Switching to LED Bulbs, or our blog article on Energy Efficient Home Remodeling Ideas.
Tri-State is a not-for-profit cooperative of 45 members, including 42 member utility electric distribution cooperatives and public power districts in four states, that together deliver reliable, affordable, and responsible power to more than a million electricity consumers across nearly 200,000 square miles of the West. For more information about Tri-State and our Responsible Energy Plan, visit www.tristate.coop.