Hello fall! It’s starting to get chilly here in Maryland—and if you are a warmth-loving person, you are probably dreading winter. Getting out of bed or out of the shower is such a torture when you are hit with a wall of cold air. And if your comfortable living temperature is between 70 and 74, you either have to suffer through the cold or empty your bank account to pay for heating.
Keeping a home warm in winter is expensive, and the cost rises with every degree you turn up your thermostat. Maintaining a consistent temperature of 74 throughout winter might not be the most wallet-friendly idea, but there are ways to heat your Maryland home without it costing a fortune.
INVEST IN A PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT
Is your house filled with post-it notes to remind you (and other family members) to turn down heat when you leave the house? And despite this measure you probably still forget from time to time. A programmable thermostat can do this for you, saving you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy. Just set the times and the temperature and it will follow your schedule—no extra steps needed.
This might not be the money-saving advice you expected, but it works! In Maryland, we have seasons, so you can’t expect to wear shorts and flip-flops year round. While at home, wear sweatpants, cozy sweaters and comfy slippers. Clothes won’t warm you, but they will help maintain the heat produced by your body. Consider it body insulation.
SEAL THE WINDOWS
Windows are a major heat sucker, especially if you have old single-pane windows. If your budget allows, consider upgrading to new, energy-efficient windows. If replacement is not an option, then seal your windows with window insulation kits. Make sure to check for any gaps around the window casings both inside and outside of your house. If you find a gap, fill it with caulk or other sealant.
DON’T HEAT UNUSED SPACE
Chances are good that you don’t use 100% of your home all the time. That unused guest room and home office, which, let’s face it, turned into your shoe storage, don’t need to be heated. You can close the vents so that heat can bypass those areas. Focus on heating rooms where you actually spend time. The only exception might be basement. Because heat rises, a warm basement means warm floors on your main floor.
USE SPACE HEATERS
Space heaters these days are rather energy efficient. They are especially handy if your home is designed with an open concept. Instead of heating the entire main floor with central heating, keep the temperature low and use space heaters where you need them—at your work station, craft table or the entertainment area. If you have a fireplace, you can also use it to stay warm, but keep in mind that traditional wood-burning fireplaces are somewhat drafty and lose heat fast. If you are looking for an alternative heating solution, consider a stove instead of a fireplace.
Going back to space heaters, they are great for heating single rooms as well, such as your bedroom. However, avoid leaving a heater on overnight unless the manufacturer states that it’s safe. Another concern is placing a space heater close to the thermostat, which may skew the readings. If you have one thermostat controlling your entire house, this may cause frozen pipes in some areas of your home that fail to get adequate heating.
TUNE UP YOUR HVAC SYSTEM
The best defense from cold weather is preventive maintenance of your Maryland HVAC system. Before cold weather settles in for good, schedule HVAC maintenance to make sure your system is ready for the winter. This seasonal maintenance may include filter replacement, duct inspection, furnace checkup and many other things. It is designed to make sure your system provides good energy efficiency and won’t fail you in times when you most need it. A small investment in maintenance now will help you avoid costly repairs (and physical discomfort) later.
HVAC systems is something we know very well at Cool Breeze. If you are looking for a reliable Maryland HVAC contractor, give us a call at 1(866)503-4888 to schedule an appointment or find out more about our services.