During the winter months, many households face keeping their homes warm without using excessive amounts of energy. While turning up the heat may seem like the only alternative, you may be wasting energy when you don’t take other steps to retain heat in the home. These tips can help you keep your living space warmer without spending more on utilities.
Don’t Hide Your Radiator
It’s common to put furniture and other obstacles in front of a radiator to hide it from view. Homeowners often feel compelled to conceal their radiators because they’re old or unsightly, but doing so can inhibit the flow of heat in that room. Instead of getting pushed out into the center of the room, the heat emitted from the radiator will be blocked by the sofa or other furnishings you have in front of the unit. This will cause the heat to hit the obstacle and rise upwards without heating the room. Additionally, positioning furnishings too close to the radiator can pose a fire hazard.
Boost Airflow Through Your Ducts
You should inspect your ducts early in the season, or you can request an HVAC contractor to check your ductwork for you. The goal here is to adjust the dampers to ensure the ducts allow maximum airflow in the colder months. You can do this by lowering the dampers until they are parallel with the duct’s top and bottom walls. You should also look for blockages in your ducts, such as dust, debris, and cobwebs. Even a small blockage can disrupt proper airflow, inhibiting the amount of heated air that’s delivered into your living spaces.
Install a Heat Shield
Typically, older homes will use radiators that are attached to exterior walls. This is a problem in that the unit will emit heat in all directions, resulting in half of your heat getting blown towards that outer wall. When that happens, the wall’s porous nature will absorb the heat, causing a drain on your energy usage. You can correct this problem by installing a heat shield between the radiator and the external wall. If you don’t have a heat shield, tin foil can be used as a temporary fix until you can find a more permanent solution.
Use Fans to Push Hot Air
There are several different ways you can use fans to push heat through your home and reduce the need to turn up your heat. If you have ceiling fans, they should each have a switch for reversing the fan’s direction. By turning the fans counterclockwise, your fans will push the heat back down rather than pulling the heat up. Additionally, look for contractors in your area that want to know how to sell my HVAC business. They may be offering deals on duct booster fans and similar equipment that will help you maximize the reach of the heat coming from your home’s registers. Even an oscillating fan strategically placed near a register or radiator can push the heat throughout the house.
Check For Leaks
Take a tour around the outside of your home and hold your hand up with the palm facing the home. As you run your hand along with the frames of doors and windows, try to detect leaks that may be causing an energy drain. If you feel warm air hitting your palm, make a note that identifies the location so you can seal it with caulk. You can also cover your windows with plastic sheeting to block cold air from coming into the home. Another option is to cover windows with heavy drapes in the winter. Although many people have ditched curtains for trendier Venetian blinds, adding drapes provides an extra insulation layer. They form a barrier that keeps warm air inside while preventing cold air from escaping into the home.
If you have tried these suggestions and still want to see if you can conserve more energy, contact your HVAC contractor. An experienced technician can offer advice, including upgrades to more energy-efficient systems, that will help you use less energy to heat your home. This can help you save on your monthly budget, so your winter months won’t be as lean and challenging.