Keeping your country home warm during winter doesn’t mean you have to crank up your heater and raise your heating bill. Country homes often don’t have high-tech, expensive HVAC systems as more modern homes you find in the city. But regardless of your heating system, there are ways to keep your country home warm during winter without raising your utility bills. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to a warmer country home and lower heating bills.
Avoid Changing the Thermostat
Though you can change your thermostat a few degrees throughout the day, it’s ideal not to change it to more than 10 degrees. The extreme temperature changes can overwork your furnace and can spike your bills. With that being the case, it’s ideal to use more than just your furnace to heat your home.
Stop the Drafts
Cold air entering your home can drastically lower the inside temperature. Older homes in rural areas are particularly susceptible to cold winds and air. To stop drafts from entering your country home, use weather stripping or caulk around drafty windows and door sweeps beneath doors. Typically, front doors are sealed well and it is more likely that you’ll lose heat through your garage door. With that being the case, consider focusing your time and efforts on that location. If you don’t want to spend money on a door sweep, you can get a similar effect with a rolled up towel. It won’t look as nice or work as efficiently, but it’s better than nothing at all.
Besides doors, the seals around your windows may be the culprit for drafts. With that being the case, consider sealing the outside of your windows. That way you get the effect of sealing the windows with extra caulk without the unfortunate look that often comes with it when using it on the inside of your home. You can also use a press-in-place rope caulk to seal windows quickly and efficiently. This may be a little more expensive than basic caulk but it tends to get the job done.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Maintaining your HVAC system is one of the best ways to ensure your home will be warm all winter long. Use a reliable HVAC company to inspect and service your HVAC system regularly. HVAC companies like Countryside can inspect and maintain your HVAC system to ensure your system is up to par. Besides getting the help of a professional, there are a few things that you can typically do on your own. For example, you should also check your furnace filter to make sure it’s clean and dust-free. A clean filter means a more efficient HVAC system. Replacing furnace filters is pretty easy. All you have to do is remove the grill of your system, which will open up the compartment where the filter is held. When removing the filter, you can read the labeling on the outside of the filter to learn the filter size. Most filter sizes are available at home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot.
Let in More Sunlight
If you have lots of windows and drapes, open them up during the daytime to allow more sunlight to enter and warm your home. Even during the winter, the sun is still your warmest source of “free” heat. Not only will this help heat your home, it will also help the residence of your home feel more awake during the day and energized. When the sun goes down, however, close your drapes to keep heat inside your home.
Move your Furniture
While it may seem like a good idea to place your sofa in front of the radiator or heater, it’s really a bad way to keep your home warm. Keeping radiators or heaters clear of obstructions will allow the heat to dissipate throughout the room. Otherwise, the heat will dissipate into the cushions or material of your home, creating a really warm couch but a cold rest of the house. While moving your furniture away from your vents, check the vents to make sure they are open.
Hang Winter Curtains
During the summer months, it may be ideal to use lightweight breathable curtains, however, with a lot of heat lost to windows, it’s ideal to hang thermal curtains during the winter. Even if the curtains aren’t thermal rated, a heavier and more durable curtain can work well to prevent heat from leaving through your windows. Even during the day when the curtains are open to let sunlight in, they will still reduce drafts from the sides of the windows from getting inside your home.
Stop Rapid Cycling
Rapid cycling occurs when your heating system fires on and off in short intervals. Rapid cycling wastes energy and causes your heating system to work harder. The best way to stop rapid cycling is to change the “cycle-rate adjustment” in the thermostat setup mode from 1 degree to 1.5 degrees.
If you have hardwood or tile floors, then keeping your toes warm can be more challenging in the winter. In addition to having a warm surface to step on, the rugs can help insulate your home and reduce drafts from beneath your home.
You should always have a professional heating and cooling company inspect, maintain, and repair your HVAC system to ensure it’s working as it should. But keeping your HVAC system in good repair is only part of the battle to keeping your country home warm during the winter. By following the suggestions listed above, you can ensure your country home will be warm and cozy all winter long without raising your heating bills.