Whether you’ve decided to go green or are looking to save some money this winter season, it is time to start thinking about the energy use in your Summit County real estate. Due to the adverse winter climate in Summit County, heating your home will most definitely be one of the most expensive facets of your utility bills, but making some of the following adjustments can help to reduce how much you end up spending on your energy consumption. Here are a few tips to not only reduce energy utilization, but to maintain comfortable home temperatures in the process.
1. Only heat the rooms you use
Guest rooms, storage areas and other spaces that are not typically used are a source of wasted energy. So, close the vents or turn off the thermostats to those rooms in order to direct the air flow to the rooms you use most.
2. Get free heat from the sun
That big yellow orb in the sky can be your best friend if you let be … especially at our high altitude where the suns rays are much, much stronger. Open the curtains or blinds on your south-facing windows during the day and close them after the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.
3. Ceiling fans are not just for summer
If you have ceiling fans, use them to your advantage as they can be used strategically to achieve better airflow in your home. Yes, counter-clockwise rotation will push hot air upwards in the summer, but a clockwise rotation in the winter will actually trap the heat in your rooms during the cooler months. For even more efficiency, turn the fan on a low setting to gently push the hot air back down.
One the most obvious and easy ways to save on your heating bill is to bundle up instead of turning the heat way up. You can don a winter sweater and warm socks, throw some blankets on the couch and add an area rug to insulate your floor.
5. Adjust the thermostat at night
The U.S. Department of Energy states that you can save approximately 10 percent per year on your heating bill by turning your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for eight hours. So, if you can handle it a bit colder while you sleep, cover your bed with flannel sheets and a warm comforter and drop that thermostat for your eight-hour snooze.
6. Maintain your furnace
If you have a furnace that heats your home, make sure that it is properly maintained, as well as all vents. Throughout the winter, you will also want to check your furnace filter monthly and replace it when it gets dirty. The same goes for a boiler if that is what you use to heat your home … yearly check-ups are suggested before the winter season.
7. Add moisture to the air
The Colorado climate tends to be very dry and dry air tends to lose heat faster than moist air. So, consider using a humidifier to hold the heat better which will enable you to turn those thermostats down. Adding house plants can also help to increase the humidity level in your home.
8. Insulation and more insulation
A lot of money can be lost due to poor insulation in your home. So, go get some insulation from the local home improvement store and cover up any areas where heat may be escaping. Weather stripping for your doors and windows can also help as it is cheap and extremely easy to apply.
9. Don’t exhaust the exhaust fans
Only use kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans when necessary. Why? These types of fans pull the hot air that rises to the ceiling out of the home. So, use them sparingly and turn them off when you are done.
10. Be conscious about holiday lighting
While this only applies to the holidays, make sure to get rid of those old incandescent holiday lights and purchase some new LED lights which use at least 75 percent less energy and can last 25 times longer.
By Reid Tulley
Coldwell Banker Mountain Properties