Tips for Staying Warm in Winter

As the cold weather hits us we'd like to offer some tips to help keep you warm at home and keep your utility bills in check.

1) Make sure you have checked your furnace filter lately. You should check it every month to see if its dirty and needs replaced. Take the filter out and hold it up to a light. If you can still see light through it, it's probably ok to use a little longer. If it's clogged up, then replace it with a new (cheap) one. The arrow on the filter should be pointing towards the furnace cabinet for maximum airflow. A clogged filter reduces airflow and can increase your utility bills due to this. Buying "high-efficiency filters" is not a good idea either, as they also restrict airflow and can increase yours bills too.

2) Wear warm clothes inside. This may sound obvious, but it is not summer time and you can not expect to feel warm inside in the winter wearing only t-shirts and shorts. Turning your furnace up to compensate for not wearing winter clothes will only make your utility bill go up.

3) Keep your thermostat set at 66-70 degrees. This is the range most people are comfortable at. If you live in a 2 story house, the upstairs will typically be warmer than the first floor, so you can try closing some of the vents on the second floor to help push more air to the first floor.

4) Do not block the air vents in your house. Move furniture away from them so you get as much heat out of the system as possible.

5) Use a humidifier in your room. The air in winter time is much more dry than summer, which is a big part of why you "feel" cold. When the air and your skin is dry you will feel much colder than when the relative humidity (RH) is higher, so a humidifier can help you feel warmer in the winter. Keeping the RH between 45%-55% is the optimal range for winter time comfort.

6) Make sure all windows and doors are closed tightly. A window that is not completely closed and latched can leak enough cold air inside to make you uncomfortable. Also, remove any window A/C units you may have in the house!

7) If you use space-heaters, do NOT leave them on all day unattended, and keep them away from furniture, clothing, or anything else that could catch fire! Some space heaters are very inefficient and will cause your electric bills to shoot up. Choose "radiant or infrared heaters" instead of electric resistance ones.

If you're doing all of these things already and you're still cold and uncomfortable, it's probably time to schedule an energy audit for your home.  Contact us today, we'd be happy to help out!