There is nothing cozier in winter than a warm home perfect for snuggling up in, but with energy bills as expensive as they are, this can feel more like a dream than a reality. So how do you keep a home warm all day?
Besides leaving the heating on, HVAC experts and contractors suggest using a series of measures, from draft-proofing tips to general household maintenance, to help beat the freeze and stay cozy.
This is exactly how you keep a home toasty in winter while cutting energy bills.
How to keep a home warm all day
Of course, when trying to keep a home warm all day, your home heating is the best place to start. Whether that means finding the best temperature for a thermostat in winter or loading up your log fireplace, actually heating your home is the most important first step.
From there, it is about keeping the heat in.
1. Check your home’s insulation
One of the most important steps in trying to keep a house warm without turning up the heat is checking your home’s insulation, and replacing or adding in insulation where needed, begin Brad Rempel and Jennifer Wayne, home improvement experts and American Standard’s Homeowning 101 instructors.
‘If your attic or crawlspace isn’t properly insulated, your heating system has to work harder to keep your home at a consistently comfortable temperature, which can make your energy bill skyrocket,’ they explain.
Adding insulation to your home may seem like a large upfront cost, but it will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run, making it a very worthwhile investment.
Brad Rempel and Jennifer Wayne have a passion for real estate and have both owned their fair share of fixer-uppers and flips. They now share their homeowning basics at America Standard to help others ace their next project.
2. Add draft proofing to keep heat in
From small steps such as fixing a drafty door to draft-proofing an entryway, keeping cold air out and stopping hot air from escaping is another essential task to keep a house warm all day. This is especially true if your home is poorly insulated, adds John Gabrielli, HVAC heating and air conditioning expert at Air Temp Solutions.
Some of the best ways to do this is by using thermal curtains on doors and windows, he explains, but you can also use insulating film on window panes to add an extra thermal pane, and use draft excluders and weather stripping to block smaller gaps for extra heat protection.
If you have a fireplace that you are not using, it is also important to remember to draft-proof a fireplace, to prevent cold air from coming down the flue into your home.
John Gabrielli is the founder and owner of Air Temp Solutions. Having grown up with a father in the trades industry, John began offering solutions for the people in Delaware and eventually expanded to the surrounding states.
3. Embrace natural light
Unless you are trying to warm up a north-facing room, then you can utilize natural sunlight to help keep your spaces feeling warm all day, reminds Brad Rempel and Jennifer Wayne, home improvement experts.
The sun's rays will heat your walls and windows and transfer this heat into your home, also helping to make your heating more efficient, they explain, so open up your curtains on brighter winter days to take full advantage.
4. Use additional heaters and maintain furnaces
One of the best ways to keep your home warm all day is to make your home heating more efficient. This means doing two things, says Brad Roberson, president at Aire Serv, a Neighborly company – using supplementary heating to help boost your room’s temperature more quickly, and performing maintenance on your furnace:
‘Utilizing supplementary heating sources strategically, like space heaters in occupied areas, can provide targeted warmth without overburdening the central heating system, allowing lower overall thermostat settings,’ he begins. ‘While regular furnace maintenance, such as cleaning filters and checking for any issues, ensures optimal performance.’
Brad Roberson was named president of Aire Serv, a trusted name in the field of heating and air conditioning installation, maintenance, and repair, by Neighborly in 2023. Brad has almost 20 years of experience.
5. Increase your home's humidity
Although many of us are often trying to reduce humidity in a house, dry air is also usually cold air, reveals John Gabrielli, HVAC heating and air conditioning expert:
‘You can also use a humidifier in the house. If you bring up the humidity, the house will feel warmer at lower temperatures.’
That being said, it is important to keep in mind what humidity your house should be in winter to help avoid mold and mildew growth. Use humidifiers sparingly, and switch to using a dehumidifier if things get a little too damp.
Is it cheaper to leave your heating on all day?
Contrary to popular belief, it is not cheaper to leave your heating on all day, even if it is left on at a low temperature. Although it is more comfortable and more logical to keep your home at a constant temperature, heating your home all day will raise your energy bills significantly. It is much better to heat your home and retain the hot air through insulation and draft-proofing than it is to run the furnace constantly.
How do I keep my house warm without heating?
While it is important to heat your home to protect it and the pipes from structural damage, it is possible to warm the space up without heating it all the time. The most important step is to block out drafts, using a thermal curtain and weather stripping to keep cold air at bay. Remember to open curtains on sunny days to let the sun warm up your home naturally.
When trying to keep a home warm all day, it is common to fall into the trap of setting our thermostat higher than it needs to be. This not only doesn’t keep your home warm, but it also raises your energy bills unnecessarily, says Brad Roberson, president at Aire Serv:
‘This always leads to excessive energy consumption and utility bills. Instead, homeowners should set the thermostat to a comfortable but reasonable temperature, typically around 68°F,’ he concludes.
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Chiana has been at Homes & Gardens for a year, having started her journey in interior journalism as part of the graduate program. She spends most of her time producing content for the Solved section of the website, helping readers get the most out of their homes through clever decluttering, cleaning, and tidying tips – many of which she tests and reviews herself in her home in Lancaster to ensure they will consistently deliver for her readers and dabbles in the latest design trends. She also has a first-class degree in Literature from Lancaster University.
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