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When it’s freezing outside, it’s easy to run your heater constantly. In fact, as much as half of the energy used in your home goes to seasonal heating and cooling. Things may stay cozy, but you may not be too happy with your heating bill. Why pay more on your utility bills than you have to? We’ll show you some money-savings tips on how to stay warm in your house without using a heater.
Take a look around your living space. Do you notice water on the window panes when you get up in the morning? This may be the case particularly with single pane windows. Instead of running a space heater, which uses up to several thousand watts per hour and can become a safety issue if used improperly, consider an efficient dehumidifier.
A dehumidifier works by using a fan that pulls in air across a dehumidifying coil. The coil condenses the moisture from the air and sends warm, dry air flowing outward. Moisture removed from air is collected in a bucket that is easily emptied out.
These units are built well, and are pretty smart. A dehumidifier unit shuts off automatically and alerts you when your water tank is full. It is a great feeling to see for yourself how well this works, and how noticeably warmer your room becomes. When it’s time to empty the water bucket, it is designed to be easy to remove, carry, and empty. Use the water collected as grey water to water your plants or flush your toilet.
Dehumidifiers come in different shapes and sizes, and hold anywhere from 30 to 70 pints of water. Besides warming the air in your living space without using a ton of energy, a dehumidifier also protects your home from mold and mildew since it removes excess moisture. Yes, a dehumidifier unit costs $100+, but you will find that it will last many years, and as you save money over time on your heating bills, it pays for itself in a few months. To see a comparison between the energy usage of a space heater versus a dehumidifier, take a look at the appliance energy use fact sheet (PDF).
Other Tips for How to Stay Warm
- Choose an Energy Star labeled appliance, as these models are energy efficient. The ENERGY STAR is awarded to those products that meet or exceed established criteria for energy efficiency and are as much as 10-50% more efficient than their conventional counterparts.
- Install a programmable thermostat, which regulates your home’s temperature in both summer and winter.
- Seal the air ducts in your home.
- Direct heat to the room where you spend most of your time. There’s no use heating up space you’re not in!
- Consider upgrading to double pane windows if it’s within your budget. Double pane windows are insulated, with a cushion of air between two panes of glass that keeps heat in during the winter and air conditioned cool air inside during summer.