Hey, good people of Nashville. If you’re still reeling from the aftershocks of your holiday spending or the great earthquake(s) of 2018, we’ve got a few easy tips for reducing your heating bill and minimizing your environmental footprint this winter.
See? Earthquakes in Tennessee. What the heck? There’s enough going on in the world these days to spike your stress levels — there’s no need for your NES and Piedmont bill to add to your anxiety.
1) Harness the Power of Solar
You don’t need solar panels to benefit from the sun’s powerful rays. Not only is a few hours of direct sunshine a good deal for your home’s energy consumption, it’s a good bet for your flagging emotional temperature, too. During sunny days, throw open the curtains and let that ball of fire do its thing. Don’t forget to cover your windows again at nightfall to keep the cool air outside.
2) Get the Most Out of Your Heat
Tap the heat that you’re using anyway.
While you may not be fond of misted mirrors, avoid using your bathroom fan while you’re taking your nice, hot shower. That noisy fan may pull out some of the moisture (which your dry, wintery house could probably use, anyway) but it’s also sucking out all the warm air. While we’re on the topic, shorter showers (think 5 minutes or less) are better not only for your bank account but for your skin as well. See? Energy savings and beauty tips. We’re a double threat!
Retiring the grill is always emotional, but you should be over it by now. It’s time to crank up the oven. Thankfully, the internet offers a wealth of sheet pan supper recipes. Chop some veggies and toss in a protein. Bake until done. Bonus points for leaving the oven door open while you’re eating. Smells great and keeps you warm. Does this make us a triple threat?
3) Lower Your Thermostat a Few Degrees
Even better, invest in a smart or programmable thermostat so you don’t need to worry about it. NES recommends setting your thermostat to 68 in the winter; however, knowing that you can save up to 3% for each degree, we take it a bit further. At night, consider setting your thermostat to 65 and when you’re out of the house for more than an hour or two, dial it back to 58.
Don’t turn your furnace off entirely, though! You’ll run the risk of pipes freezing and your equipment will have to work overtime to bring temperatures back up to your comfort level.
4) Bundle Up and Get Cozy
Toss an extra blanket on the beds, cover cold floors with throw rugs, and artfully drape your couch with a cozy comforter. Invest in wool socks and some comfy cardigans. You may find that 68 degrees ain’t so bad after all.
5) Let the Sun do the work
Keep as many blinds open as you can during a sunny day. The warmth from the sunshine will go a long way in keeping you home nice and toasty, so that your heater won’t have to work as hard to keep the inside warm.
6) Tuck in Your Water Heater
If your water heater is located in your unheated crawlspace, you may want to consider insulating it. Insulating a water heater that is warm to the touch can save you 7-16% annually on your hot water heating bill (energy.gov).
7) Dust Off Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t just for the sweet, sweet summertime. Hot air rises, so use your ceiling fans to push it back down. Ceiling fan rotation in the winter should be clockwise and the fan should be set to its lowest speed. This pulls the cool air up and shifts the hot air down. Just remember to dust off the blades before your fire it up. Especially if you’re following tip #5.
8) Close Your Fireplace Damper
If you’re lucky enough to have a functioning fireplace, don’t let all your heat go up the chimney when it’s not in use. Close the damper! If your fireplace is a non-functional storage nook, make sure that your chimney is safely capped off to prevent heat from escaping.
9) Break out the Caulk Gun
Craftsmen cottages, charming bungalows, sprawling Victorians, massive Queen Annes, and quaint Tudors are part of what gives our wonderful neighborhood so much character and charm. That, and Tomato Art Fest. But we digress. Although your 1,100 square foot cottage and Urban Cowboy may not have much in common, you can bet that your original windows are just as drafty as theirs.
10) Schedule a Check-up or Get a Quote on a New Furnace
If it’s been a while since you’ve paid attention to your furnace or heat pump, it may be time to arrange for a preventative maintenance call. And if you’re not sure whether or not it’s time to replace your furnace, we can talk you through that as well. Winter has arrived. Stay warm, East Nashville! Contact Cumberland Cooling at 615-576-0742 to request a free estimate or to schedule a furnace tune-up.