Have you ever wondered how much we impact the environment when we use the heating system to keep ourselves warm? I believe you did! So, let’s start this great guide with a few facts, shall we?
- Home heating accounts for approximately 40% of our total energy consumption.
- Space heating accounted for 63% of natural gas consumed in U.S. homes in 2009;
- The remaining 37% was for water heating, cooking, and miscellaneous uses.
That’s right. We use the heating system in our homes and not thinking it as a big deal, is a huge matter collectively.
Energy-saving Tips For Winter
At this point, you might be thinking, we can’t just be in the cold and turn off all the heating, right? Fair enough. But, did you know that there are many ways you can still reduce the carbon emission while using them and keeping yourself warm?
And today’s article is all about that. So, without further adieu, let’s jump right into that.
Use Area Rugs
This is by far the easiest solution to conserve energy and make your home warmer. Especially if your home has little to no insulation on the floor, having a decent carpet will give you immense comfort in the winter season.
Besides being a soft place to lay your feet on cool winter mornings, it will add some extra colors to your home decorations.
Increase your Insulation
I must stress this one. A good insulation system is crucial when you want to conserve energy. Because the more heat you save, the less amount of heat you need to produce. Most importantly, take good care of the attic because a significant amount of heat is lost through your roof.
Install Recycled Insulation
Installing insulation to your wall is super effective in reducing heat loss and keeping the home warm. But did you know that you could use recycled materials for this? An eco-friendly insulation system can minimize waste and help you to keep the house warmer longer.
Insulate your water pipes
You might not know this, but you can easily insulate your water pipes up to six feet with very little materials from your local hardware store. And as a result, you can have hot water coming from the pipes and no need to use water heaters.
Take Care of the Pet Doors
Just closing the pet door isn’t enough! Make sure you’re using heavy curtains on the door that traps the warm inside. And if you have sliding pans, make sure to weather-strip around it thoroughly.
Use the Sun
As the saying goes: the best things in life are always free! You can use the sun to warm up your entire house easily. How?
Be more conscious about the sun angles in the winter. And during the appropriate times, keep your shades, blinds or curtains open and let the sun warm up your home.
The same goes in the summertime. Close the curtains or shades during the times and keep your home cooler, saving you from air conditioning.
Don’t Use Exhaust Fans
Although exhaust fans are a lifesaver for bathrooms and kitchens, you should avoid using them during the winter. They push out the hot air from the house, which makes your home colder than usual.
Take Care of Drafts and Cracks
Cracks and drafts can be a big issue for the heaters to overcome. The little chills that enter from those cracks can make it hard to stay warm in the winter.
The best thing to do is fix them and leave no cracks open. However, if you’re looking for a short-term solution, place a rolled towel over the drafts, and it’ll block the chills coming from outside.
Get Better Windows
Many of us still use old windows, which are doing the job alright. But did you know that switching to a better-performing window and door can help you, in the long run, fight against the cold in the winter? That’s right!
Although replacing your doors and windows might seem like a heavy investment, it will save you many costs in the winter. They’ll help you prevent heat loss, block the chills coming from outside, and save energy.
Reuse the Oven Energy
You already know the oven we use everyday consumes a lot of energy to produce heat. But did you know that you could easily reuse this energy to warm your home?
That’s right! Just leave the door open when you’re done cooking your food and the oven still has the heat inside it. The heat then will come out of the oven and at least will keep the kitchen warmer.
Use a wood fireplace rather than a gas fireplace
Gas fireplace consumes more energy and produces less heat. On the other hand, wood fireplaces can generate way more heat with little scrap wood and pellets. So the best thing you can do is use a wood fireplace rather than a gas one.
You could use fallen trees, branches, wood pellets or scrap wood to generate a lot of heat while saving massive costs. Although, be careful while lighting and tending it and make sure to service it regularly.
Have a Space Heater
Space heaters are perfect solutions for smaller rooms. They consume less energy and can make a smaller room cozy enough for you. Also, if you live in a warmer climate, a space heater can be all that you need to be warm in the winter.
Use Curtains Over Windows
Curtains are not only good for your interior designs; you can use them to be warmer as well. They can help you block the cold coming from outside through the drafts in heavy winter times. Also, don’t forget to push the curtain to the slide to let the sunlight in during appropriate times.
Build a Canopy around your Bed
You won’t believe how effective this is during the winter time. Hang high curtains around your bed from the ceiling and surround your bed. This will help you keep the heat inside and keep you warm all night.
Close the doors of all empty rooms
If you’re not using a room, the best thing to do is to close it off. So you’re not using energy just to warm your furniture.
Sit Near the Heater
This might seem obvious but many tend to miss or forget that. While the heater is on, the most logical thing is to be closer to it. So you get warm quickly. On the other hand, heaters take more energy and time to heat the entire space and reach you at the end of the room.
As you already know, we need a hell of a lot more water while bathing. And the more water we need, the more energy it requires for the heater to make the water hot enough. On the other hand, when you take a quick shower, you save both the water and heat to warm it up. Besides, you can save a lot more water with a low flow showerhead.
Be conscious about water heaters
If you have a water heater that constantly uses energy to keep the water at a set temperature, turn it off while leaving town. Otherwise, it will continuously eat up energy while no one’s even using it.
To Wrap it up
I have included 12 of the easiest ways to be more eco-conscious in winter while keeping yourself warm. But, that’s not all and you already know it.
The best way to be more sustainable is to be mindful about it always. Do the right thing, listen to your heart. The biggest challenge we face while doing them is to doubt ourselves.
You might have questions like, is this even going to make a difference? Or this is just a small thing and won’t have a that much bigger impact, or let me skip it once; it’ll be fine.
When you can tackle those, it becomes a habit and makes a difference. However, no matter what you do, always keep in mind that every small action, positive or negative, impacts our environment.
About the Guest Author
Jared McMillen of The Eco Friend spent most of his working life in financial markets. He observed corporations making decisions for profit regardless of the impact on the environment. As these decisions were outside of Jared’s control, he decided to make changes in his own life to help our planet. Since then, he’s been spreading the knowledge of how families and households can have a sustainable lifestyle and consume what’s best for them.