In the early months of a Maryland autumn, you may find yourself struggling over whether to turn on the heat or brave a few cold nights to save on your energy bill. Luckily, you can warm your home in these intermittently chilly months without paying a high price for your comfort with these tips for minimizing your heating expenses and warming the home efficiently.
Change Your Bedding
If you’re cranking up the heat at night so you’re warm enough to sleep, there’s a more cost-effective way to stay cozy. Swap out your bedding for warmer sheets so you can enjoy a satisfying night’s sleep without an outrageous utility bill. Try flannel sheets and add a soft blanket between your top sheet and comforter. If you use a duvet, you can also switch from a lighter duvet in summer to a heavier filling in winter months.
Hang Heavier Curtains
Swap your breezy summer curtains for heavier drapes with a thermal lining. These will keep heat in where it belongs and block some of the autumn chill. If you’re working with a limited budget, curtains are an easy DIY project. Simply sew a pocket along the top edge of any piece of heavy fabric. If your windows are bare, even lightweight curtains are an improvement.
Use Your Fireplace Properly
You can put off turning on your heater by using your fireplace in early fall. The fireplace will not only warm your home, but it will also add a welcoming ambiance. Make sure your chimney is properly sealed if you’re not using it. If your fireplace is purely decorative and you never light a fire, consider blocking it with a chimney balloon to keep cold air out.
Check Your Ceiling Fans
Many people associate fans with summer cooling, but they can actually warm your home as well. Adjust the setting so your fan is rotating clockwise. Heat naturally rises to the ceiling, but a fan that’s rotating clockwise will gently push it back down. Use the fan on low speed for the best warming effect. In early fall, this little trick may help you postpone turning on the heat a little longer.
Schedule Annual Maintenance
Your heater needs an annual tune up to stay in prime condition. The ideal time to schedule this maintenance is in early fall before you turn your heater on for the first time. During this visit, your HVAC technician will thoroughly clean the unit, tighten electrical connections, and lubricate moving parts. The technician will also check your oil or gas connections, gas pressure, heat exchanger, and burner combustion. A well-maintained unit will lower your energy expenses and require fewer heater repairs.
Your oven will naturally warm your home any time you’re cooking, so it’s a great alternative to your heating system in the colder months when you can’t decide if it’s time to turn on your heater or not. Do some freezer cooking for the months ahead or enjoy a few roasts while conveniently keeping the home cozy on chilly evenings.
Move Furniture Away From Vents
Go around the home and locate all your heat vents. If you’ve arranged your furniture with aesthetics in mind, you may have overlooked the practicality of the placement. Move furniture away from your heating vents so none of them are blocked. If you have a forced-air central heating system, you should also make sure return vents are clear of furniture, as blocking these vents will disrupt air pressure in the home.
Change Your Filters
You need to change the filters on your heating system every month or so throughout the fall and winter. Dirty filters lower your indoor air quality and negatively impact the efficiency of your heating system. Stock up on filters at the beginning of the season before prices spike and keep them handy so you can switch your filter out in just seconds when it’s time for this monthly routine.
If you’re ready to book your annual heater maintenance in preparation for fall, contact Griffith Energy Services at 888-474-3391. We can help you get your home in peak shape for the weather ahead.
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