A winter view copyright DMedina 2014

A winter view copyright DMedina 2014

During the winter months, staying warm and comfortable is important. However, making sure you conserve our limited resources for use tomorrow and future generations, and saving money is also very important. Here are a few common sense things that you can do to help create a greener living space, and stay warm and comfortable during these winter months.

Energy Conservation Tip # 1 Consider Adding Carpeting

Bare wood or tile floors are actually huge energy sinks, allowing heat and to seep out of your house through the floors.  One of the easiest ways to help lessen this energy drain is to put down a few area carpets on your floor.  Not only will the area rugs add comfort and traction, but the extra layer of insulation will help to minimize heat loss.

Energy Conservation Tip # 2  Make Use of the Sun

While it might not seem like a good idea to open up the curtains during the winter months, allowing sunlight to come in will in reality warm your house, and allow you to lower your thermostat a little bit, which means you’ll use less gas.  On the days that you know that there will be ample sun, consider opening your curtains and allow the glass in your windows to act like a greenhouse, naturally warming the inside.

Energy Conservation Tip # 3 Keep Your Air Vents and Heat Vents Free

While it’s always a good idea for you to bundle up during the winter months, it is essential that your heating and air vents are free from obstruction.  Things such as rugs, furniture,  and drapes all can hinder the flow of the air, forcing your furnace to work hard to distribute the warmer air throughout the house.  This means your system will use more energy and more fuel to do the same job.  Instead, pull out your chairs and couches from the walls, and give your vents at least three feet of  open space around them to operate efficiently.

Energy Conservation Tip # 4  Change the Temperature Based on Your Presence in the House

When you are at home, it’s important to stay warm and comfortable.  For most people that is usually around 70 degrees.  However, your home and water pipes don’t need to stay that warm.  So when you leave for the day consider lowering the thermostat by a few degrees.  Lowering the thermostat down to 60 degrees will allow your furnace to not work as often, and help conserve your fuel.  If you have pets, consider turning your thermostat down to 65 degrees. It’s still more than warm enough, and every little bit helps.

Energy Conservation Tip # 5  Make sure your Windows and Doors are Properly Insulated.

One of the easiest ways to lose energy and heat from your home is through the cracks and crevices around your windows and doors.  Every winter it’s a good idea to make sure that those areas are properly insulated.  One of the easiest ways to check for leaks is to take a lit candle and pass it along the edges of the window or door.  If the window or door is properly insulated, the candle flame won’t move hardly at all. If it does, make a note of the area and come back over with some insulating foam or another form of insulation.

These are just a few of the ways that you can help lower your energy bill and still stay warm during the winter months.  What are some of the ones that you have used in your home?  Would love to hear about them!