10 Tips to Keeping Your North Carolina Home Toasty This Winter
North Carolina may not be Canada, or even Maine for that matter, but boy it sure can get cold around Raleigh and the Outer Banks. As winter settles into our neck of the woods, homeowners throughout the region are always on the hunt for ways to keep their home warm, without having to empty their pockets.
Here are 10 quick tips you can do today to bring warmth to your home, without worrying about your budget.
- Install a programmable thermostat
If your house is empty during the day, then a programmable thermostat is an incredible way to save money. Here at Comfort First, we recommend that you keep your home at 68 degrees from 6 to 9 a.m., 60 degrees from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 68 degrees from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., and 60 degrees from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.
If that nighttime recommendation turns out to be a bit too chilly, feel free to adjust accordingly.
- Bask in the sunlight
Sunlight = free heat, even if the temperature outside is chilly. Before you leave for the day, open your curtains and let that sunlight shine in.
- Close your curtains at night
Curtains actually serve to keep heat from escaping your home (think of clouds in the sky - they do the same thing). Here in North Carolina, you likely don't need to invest in insulated curtains, but it is an option that might keep things a bit toastier indoors.
- Use the winter setting of your ceiling fans
Most folks in the Outer Banks and Raleigh keep their ceiling fans off throughout the winter, which makes sense. Except, many of these fans have a winter setting, which reverses the fan so it moves clockwise (rather than counter-clockwise). As heat rises, this fan will push the heat back down into your rooms.
This may not be the best solution, as the fan could still cool the air too much, but try it on a low setting and you might be impressed.
- Free up your vents!
If you have vents covering up your vents, then your hot air isn't making it to the rest of your home. Take this opportunity to consider changing up the look of your rooms if any of your furniture is acting like a blockade.
- Seal your leaks
When you think of leaks, you might automatically think of windows and doors - as they're the biggest culprits. But look closely with your attic, basement and kitchen hood vents.
- Keep rooms closed off
When you close doors to a room, you can create a little sauna in that closed off space. For example, if you work from home, you could close the door to your office overnight, so that in the morning it's nice and toasty.
- Cook more often
That's right, your oven can really warm things up. Crank up your cooking regiment (baking, convecting, broiling) so that you enjoy not only a home-cooked meal, but a warm home.
- Add rugs to your hardwood floors
Uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home's heat loss. Carpets and rugs can help you keep your home warmer, and are far more effective at trapping in heat.
- Use space heaters
Even if you have a perfectly functional HVAC system, you can still enjoy the benefits of space heaters - with caution. Space heaters can help keep individual rooms warm, but just keep in mind these heaters do pose a fire hazard. Never leave a space heater unattended, and don't let your heater run for more than 3-4 hours at any given time.
In the end, focus more on the people in your house ...
As much effort as we all put into keeping our North Carolina homes warm, in the end the ultimate goal is to actually keep ourselves warm. That's why it's worth throwing on a hoodie, some socks, blankets, and thicker bed sheets.
Also, consider drinking hot coffee or tea all day so that your body temperature remains a bit warmer. Every little bit helps to prevent you from having to simply crank up the heat.
And as always, contact Comfort First Heating & Cooling if you need service done on your heat pump or furnace!