Temperatures have slowly been dropping across the Carolinas, especially at night, which means many homeowners are turning on the heat. While the cool air can be a relief from the swelter of summer, heating costs can quickly add up over the winter due to poor insulation or inefficient practices. There are several ways homeowners and HOAs can help to keep costs down while still staying nice and warm.
- Switch ceiling fan directions. Many people do not consider the fact that ceiling fans can either rotate clockwise or counterclockwise – and which way it’s spinning makes a difference. Set ceiling fans to move clockwise so that they push hot air back down into the room, instead of drawing it up and away.
- Make use of natural heat. Open curtains and blinds during the daytime to let natural sunlight in and warm the house. As the sun sets and it starts getting cooler, close blinds and curtains to trap heat inside.
- Adjust the thermostat. Even just one or two degrees can make a difference. Turn the temperature down overnight or while you aren’t home. When everyone is home, turn it back up, but make sure everyone is dressed warmly and try to use sweatshirts or blankets if there’s a chill instead of turning the temperature too high. A programmable thermostat can be a worthwhile investment and save money in the long run.
- Improve insulation. Check around windows and doors to make sure that seals are not cracked, damaged, or missing. Installing new weatherstripping is an easy way to keep cold drafts out and warm heat in. Also, make sure there is enough insulation in the attic since hot air rises, and be sure to seal around the entrance to the attic.
- Only heat common rooms. If no one uses the guest bedroom or spends much time in the basement, close the air vents and doors to these rooms so you’re not spending extra money to needlessly heat them. Zoned heating systems can be beneficial too in order to focus on specific areas of the house that are used most often.
- Get a tune-up for your heating system and chimney. Have a professional inspect and service your heating system to ensure that it is working properly and efficiently. Check the chimney as well for any fire or safety hazards and to make sure it seals correctly to keep cold air out when not in use.
Making your home more energy efficient can save you money while keeping your family nice and warm this winter. It may cost a little more upfront, but it will generate savings in the long run. The HOA can take these same steps to keep costs in check for community buildings. For more money-saving tips, talk to your HOA management company. Kuester partners with communities to enhance operations without breaking the bank.