5 Money-Saving Ways to Warm Up the House
On average, nearly half of household energy expenses go toward heating and cooling. Here, ways to keep warm without cranking the thermostat
SWITCH UP YOUR FAN
Reverse the direction of any ceiling fans (in most cases, that’s from counterclockwise to clockwise). This creates a mild updraft that pushes warm air down. Most change direction via a switch on the housing that’s easily accessed when the fan’s off.
BE DRAPE SMART
Except in bedrooms, curtains are often always open—or always closed. In winter, take advantage of solar heat gain by opening drapes, especially on south-facing windows, in the morning. Come sundown, close them to reduce heat loss by up to 10 percent. By creating a warmer surface between you and window glass—even double panes get chilly—drapes also improve the mean radiant (a.k.a. “feels like”) temperature.
SWAP FURNACE FILTERS
Dirty filters impede air flow, making a furnace use up to 15 percent more energy. Even if you have a high-efficiency filter meant to be changed every three to six months, check it monthly in winter; if it’s dirty, dark, or clogged, swap in a new one.
BRING THE HEAT TO YOU
Using an electric space heater alone can be an efficient way to heat a small space. But for supplemental heat, it’s more cost-effective (and just as warming) to curl up with an electric blanket or a heating pad.
Add a thick area rug with a beefy pad—these can block heat loss up to 10 percent better than wood alone. And since the fibers trap air, your feet will feel significantly warmer.