While home heating and air can keep you comfortable during the coldest and hottest months of the year, you may be making your system work harder than it should to keep you warm.
Nothing creates a high energy bill like an overworked heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
If you want to give your home's HVAC system a break and lower your heating costs, keep reading to learn more.
According to the United States Department of Energy, on average, heating costs more and uses more energy than all other systems in the home, making up around 29 percent of the average energy bill.
Your heating system works to keep your home at the temperature you designate on the thermostat. The greater the difference between the outdoor temperature and the thermostat, the more the heating unit has to run to maintain temperature.
If you're trying to ease the burden on your HVAC system while staying comfortable, there are a few ways that you can make your home more energy efficient in the winter.
This may seem obvious, but every degree counts! Keeping your temperature around 68 degrees during the day and 60 degrees at night can make a significant difference in your energy usage. Turning your thermostat down 7°-10℉ from its usual setting can save you up to 10 percent a year.
If you lower your home's thermostat, you can adjust your lounging attire to feel more comfortable. Wearing multiple layers can help insulate your body heat better than one large layer.
Wearing layers like a sweatshirt, long-sleeve t-shirt or knitted thermal around the house can mitigate the temperature difference.
Place beautiful quilts or blankets around your home on couches, lounging chairs or ottomans. This practice can add functional decoration that puts extra warmth within arms' reach.
Use natural sunlight to heat your home. Open blinds and curtains to south-facing windows during the day to let maximum sunlight into your home.
After you've showered or used your oven, minimally use your fan and allow excess heat from these activities to warm up your home. Never leave your oven open while it's on and properly ventilate any gas-powered cooking appliances.
Warm foods and drinks like broth-based soups and herbal teas can help give you a quick warm-up. Beverages like coffee or black tea are a double-edged sword as caffeine can stimulate your body's metabolism but also dehydrate you.
Staying hydrated is key to staying warm. Research shows that your body will tolerate cooler temperatures better if you balance your food and water intake.