By Samantha Grose, Lead Designer of Optima Homes
During the winter as a kid I was always looking for ways to stay warm and avoid the cold. As an adult in Minnesota, my attention has shifted to the search for ways to stay warm while keeping my cold season electric bill in check.
JP&CO’s Winter Heat Saving Checklist
- Schedule a Furnace Check-Up: For a reasonably cheap fee (~ $100) a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure that your system is clean, safe, and can achieve its best efficiency. The inspection also helps keep your family safe as it measures the carbon monoxide leakage.
- Try a New Direction: Run your ceiling fans in reverse (after cleaning them!) to create an updraft that pushes heated air back down from the ceiling—what’s the use of heating the air if it’s 5 feet above your head?
- Question Your Fireplace: Make sure that your fireplaces aren’t actually making your home cooler. Some homes lose as much as 30% of their heat due to a fireplace with an unknown open damper. Make sure that every fireplace in your home has a draft stopper (an inflatable pillow that is inserted when the fireplace is out of use).
- Turn It Down Before Takeoff: Turn your thermostat down when you’re gone for an evening or out of town for the weekend. Doing this not only saves heating money, but also reduces the amount of energy your fridge and freezer use.
- Lower than Average Is Not Always Bad: Reduce your thermostat temp by one or two degrees at a time and try out the lower heat for a few days to see how it feels. They say that each 1-degree drop for an eight hour period reduces your fuel bill by about 1%.
- Close What You Don’t Use: Seal windows and doors that aren’t typically used in the winter. No one touches the windows in the third floor office or your guestroom? Plastic up these draft-enablers and your space will feel more snuggly in no time.
- Practice Selective Heating: Use space heaters to strategically heat the spaces you actually use, as opposed to your entire home. This saves money and makes your home office or bedroom even more comfortable.
- Soften Your Step: Avoid frozen toes and make rooms cozier with more rugs and less cold walking on cement, tile, and wood floors.
Hopefully this guide will help you to stay warm for less in your home this winter!
Samantha Grose is both Associate AIA and Allied ASID. She is the lead designer for Optima Homes and JP&CO. She takes a unique approach to design creating spaces that are casually sophisticated and timeless in design, where you and your family can live comfortably. She has worked extensively throughout the TWIN CITIES area having completed many new homes and large scale whole house remodels.
Samantha received her BS from the University of Minnesota majoring in both ARCHITECTURE and ART. She is deeply committed to a creative approach giving you highly functional spaces with an aesthetic appeal for everyday living.