Trying to stay comfortable and warm during a cold Bath, Pennsylvania, winter can lead you to make bad decisions about the energy use in your home. Common behaviors like turning the thermostat up, then down, taking long showers, and leaving space heaters on will cause your energy bills to go up. Watch yourself and your family for these thoughtless winter behaviors that will show up as higher numbers on your energy bills this season.
Turning up the Thermostat to Heat the House Faster
You’ve just come in from an absolutely frigid day, and head for the thermostat to turn it up. You want the house to get warm as fast as possible. Unfortunately, increasing the temperature in your home does nothing to increase the speed with which the furnace heats your home.
The furnace is capable of heating your home at a certain rate, no matter the temperature setting. It simply runs until the thermostat communicates that the house is the right temperature. Whether the thermostat is set to 68 or 75, the thermostat will run for the same amount of time to get to 68. Then, to get to the higher temperature, it’ll just keep running and using energy instead of shutting off and saving you money.
Leaving Space Heaters on When You Exit a Room
Many people feel a little too chilly when the house is only set to 68 degrees in winter. Space heaters are great ways to supplement a little extra warmth into your living space without spending a lot of extra money on heating bills.
However, a space heater is designed to warm up a person or a small space, not continuously heat a room. Leaving a space heater on all the time to keep a room warm, especially a room you’re not occupying, is just a waste of energy.
Taking Long, Hot Showers
Taking a long shower in steaming water is comforting and wonderful in winter. However, those showers are wasting energy. Turning your water heater up, then using all the water it’s heated, uses up needless energy.
Instead, try to take short showers during the winter. It’s better for your skin, anyway, because hot water can dry out your already dry skin. If you’re showering for a long time in hot water because you’re congested or sick, use a humidifier in your bedroom instead./
Letting Air Escape Through Uncovered Doors and Windows
You spend money on furnace fuel and electricity to heat your home, then allow that air to escape through uncovered doors and windows. Any gaps around your front door or any of your windows are spots where hot air gets out and cold air gets in. You can usually tell if windows are drafty because you get cold standing next to them.
You need to install weatherstripping around the edges, or cover the windows in plastic. If you’ve got weatherstripping that’s more than a few years old, it’s probably time to replace it. Sealing windows and doors is an easy weekend project that will keep your house warmer and lower your energy bills this winter.
Not Setting Your Programmable Thermostat
You have to avoid the temptation to heat the house to 75 while you’re sleeping. Outfit your bed with flannel sheets and down comforters, then turn that thermostat down. The best way to save money in the winter is to reduce your home’s temperature by 10 or 15 degrees for 8 hours. You can do this while you’re sleeping to save energy or while you’re out of the house during the day.
Program that thermostat to be set at 68 during the day, and 58 or 60 at night for the best savings. Once you set it, don’t touch it.
If you’re having a hard time keeping your home at a comfortable temperature, call Sullivan Oil & Propane. Your furnace, air handler, or ducts might need maintenance. If big repairs or a replacement is necessary, we will let you know and help you assess your options. Stay warm and toasty this winter; call us today at (610) 810-3992.
Image provided by Shutterstock