Don’t let your home get caught in the cold. Take these actions to stay comfortable and save.
- Call a pro. Hire a qualified professional to inspect and clean your heating system to ensure that it’s operating at peak efficiency.
- Plug the holes. Check for air leaks around recessed light fixtures, pipes, wiring and flues in your attic and basement. Fill them with expandable foam or caulk.
- Fill in the gaps. Look for any gaps around windows or exterior doors. Seal any you find with caulk or weather stripping.
- Ensure coverage. Make sure your walls and attic are insulated to levels recommended for your climate zone. An insulation contractor can help.
- Get with the program. Install a Wi-Fi-enabled programmable thermostat and set it to automatically adjust temperatures to save energy based on your schedule. Set the thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re awake and lower it before you go to sleep or are away. Lowering the temperature by between 7 and 10 degrees can save as much as 10 percent on heating costs *according to energy.gov
- Be smart with your layout. Be sure furniture and drapes are not blocking heating baseboards or radiators.
- Let the light in. Let in the sun’s natural warmth by opening drapes and curtains during the day on sun-facing windows. Close them at night to keep the warmth inside.
- Grow your indoor garden. Humid air makes you feel warmer at a lower thermostat setting. Houseplants add natural humidity.
- Switch it up! Switching to LED light bulbs also saves money and energy. They use as much as 90 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer for years of savings. * according to energy.gov
- Be efficient with your heat. If your heating system is older or in need of repair, consider upgrading to an ENERGY STAR-certified high-performance unit.
All seem a little overwhelming? Let us help you. Check out PSEG’s energy efficiency programs at homeenergy.pseg.com.
Thanks for the helpful advice! I just want to add a few words about insulation.
If you get your hot water from a hot water storage tank, you also need to insulate it. Insulation with an R-value of at least 24 is preferable. This could reduce heat loss by up to 45% and save you around 10% in water heating costs.
Thanks for sharing this! I just want to emphasize that lowering the temperature by between 7 and 10 degrees is the perfect range because setting a smart thermostat to a lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit can cause frozen pipes on cold winter days.
I like the idea of caulking doors. However, if your door is old and low-quality, it’s better to replace it with a new more energy-efficient option, like a steel door.
Thermally broken steel doors might be the best solution for areas with extreme temperatures. They use two layers of steel separated by insulation to reduce thermal conductivity, keeping your home at the perfect temperature year-round.