Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saving Money Saturday-Heating, Part 1

Winter is in full swing in the STL area. Per usual, our winter precipitation is lacking and the temperatures are comparable to a roller coaster. I used to be a fan of cold weather, but I'm finding myself more content with the 32-80 degree range. Anything below freezing is for the birds.

This is our second winter in our new home, and it's a fairly energy efficient house which surprising for its age and lack of updates. Still, utility costs are on the rise (I'm looking at you Ameren with your 10.1% increase), and I'm looking for any way I can to save a buck. I've done a bit of research, and want to share the information I've dug up.

*These are all simple ideas you can do ASAP and will not cost you a dime. I'll do another post with options that may cost a bit, but will save you in the long run.

-- Use those ceiling fans. According to the Department of Energy, turning on a ceiling fan, set to spin clockwise, for just one hour will help disburse the heat in a room. Here's a cute little diagram I found demonstrating the air flow from a fan.

--If you have a fireplace you are not using, close the damper. Heat rises and if the damper is open, it's basically a nice little hole in your roof that allows heat and dollars to fly right out.

--Unused rooms. If you have any rooms that are rarely used, shut the vents and close the doors. This allows for more air to be pushed to other rooms more efficiently.

--Unblock any vents. Vents can be mistakenly covered up with toys, rugs or towels. Removing them helps circulate the air more efficiently.

--Use your curtains. If you have south-facing windows, open the curtains up during the day to let the sun do some natural heating of its own. Close the curtains at nighttime prevent the heat from escaping.

--Turn down your thermostat. Turning your thermostat down one degree can potentially save you 3% a year. Just one tiny degree! When you aren't home, turn it down ten degrees. No sense in wasting that money on ghosts or dust bunnies.


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