We never really know what fall weather will bring, but you usually can count on a few sudden chilly spells that sometimes result in shockingly high electric bills. Observe the following practices to avoid being jolted out of your cozy holiday reverie by an unexpectedly steep bill.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, be sure the damper is closed while the fireplace is not in use. Keep in mind that a wood-burning fireplace is generally an inefficient method for heating your home. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fireplace drafts pull warm air up the chimney, inadvertently cooling other rooms. So if you use central heat while burning wood in a fireplace, it forces your heater to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature throughout the house. Since it provides lovely ambiance, consider reserving fireplace use for special occasions.
Keep drapes and blinds open during the day to allow solar heat to warm your home all day for free. Close them at dusk to seal warmth in.
Rearrange furnishings to uncover any vents that may be blocked by sofas or rugs. Remember that the closer you are to an exterior wall, especially one with windows, the colder it is. Freshen up your living space with a new seating arrangement that doubles as an energy saver by moving furniture away from the room’s perimeter.
Run ceiling fans clockwise to create an updraft that pulls cold air up and distributes warm air in the room more evenly, preventing cold pockets from forming.
Invest in a smart thermostat for your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to further reduce power costs easily and conveniently. Lowering your home’s temperature 10–15 degrees for eight hours a day can shave an equivalent percentage off your electric bill.
Lastly, use the popular low-tech solution employed effectively for generations: Bundle up! Wool socks, flannel pajamas, and a warm quilt or throw reduce the need for excessive home heating and go perfectly with a mug of hot cocoa.
Enhance your home’s coziness and decrease energy inefficiency with these tips, regardless of any sudden swings in temperature Mother Nature may deal us.