One of the key considerations when owning a home is to appreciate how much it will cost to keep it running. While many of us would love to live in a castle, who’d want the heating bill? All homes cost money to maintain and keep in good order on top of their purchase costs. During the Colorado winter months, it is an opportunity to better understand how your home is sealed and how well the insulation is performing.
It’s important that owners do everything we can to insulate our homes properly to prevent heat escaping and keep us cozy. You should always check the quality of your insulation in the roof, and fill any cracks and gaps in walls and around windows and skirting boards that will let in cold air.
There are also some common beliefs about heating your home that are actually not true. I’ve made a list of the biggest ones in the hope it will save you energy and money this winter.
Fire the fireplace – Sadly the traditional fireplace, while wonderfully romantic, is inefficient. The heat loss via the chimney is significant, which means you burn lumber at an uneconomic rate. A combustion fire, or heat box, is a smarter play.
Use the off switch – Nothing saves you money like turning off your heating system. It’s fine to let it run at a constant temperature, but that’s not the most economic strategy. If you’re out for prolonged periods, it’s better to turn the heating off and warm your home on your return.
Steady heat – When we enter a cold house, the immediate reaction is to turn the thermostat way up high in the belief it will warm the home faster. It doesn’t. If you want a comfortable 70ºF, don’t waste your time going for a tropical 95ºF. You won’t get to your comfort zone any faster.
Efficiency is key – By all means flick on a space heater to warm up faster, but don’t kid yourself that it’s more efficient than your furnace. If you’ve got cold spots in the home, invest in improving the outlets for your gas furnace rather than make do with an electric space heater.
High five the fans – Did you think ceiling fans were just for summer? No. If you climb a ladder and look at the stem of your fans, you’ll find a summer and winter setting. The winter one will reverse the rotation and push hot air back down towards you, ensuring you get all the warmth available and it doesn’t sit up on the ceiling.
If you want to take things to another level, consider a blower door test, there are many options to choose from in Northern Colorado, though it may be a good start to check in with your local utility companies to see who they would recommend. As an example, Fort Collins has the EPIC certification program, which allows homeowners an opportunity to discover valuable information about how their home functions and what can be updated to become more efficient.
If you have questions or would like more information on how the efficiency of your home can improve the overall value let's connect!