(StatePoint) When keeping your home warm becomes a top priority, utility bills can get pricey. But upgrades featuring new technologies and heating strategies can help lower costs comfortably — plus these changes can also help make your home more environmentally friendly.
A central furnace cycles on and off several times an hour, heating your entire house, including unoccupied rooms. But supplemental heating products can warm the living areas that your family occupies most, allowing you to turn down the thermostat for the central furnace.
This practice can save up to 40 percent off your heating bills, according to an American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy report. Instead of a utilitarian space heater, consider alternative zone heating tools, such as fireplaces, stoves and fireplace inserts, which look great and add ambiance.
In addition to adding ambiance, new innovations are making wood stoves a more convenient way to stay warm this winter.
For example, the Quadra-Fire Adventure II is the first wood stove that maintains a room’s temperature via a programmable thermostat and tells you when to add more wood. Plus, its four-point burn system produces intense rolling flames for powerful and efficient heat, so warming your home can be as simple as loading the wood, lighting the fire, and walking away — and it can reduce home heating costs by up to 50 percent.
And unlike fossil fuels, wood is a renewable energy source. Burning wood completes the last step of the natural carbon cycle of trees, resulting in a zero net carbon impact on the environment. More information about the benefits of heating your home with wood stoves can be found at www.quadrafire.com.
Annual maintenance to your heating system and home can ensure you get the best bang for your utility buck. Have your heating system serviced for optimal performance. You can also change the filters yourself and should do so periodically.
Seal drafts and ductwork so you don’t waste warm air. And remember that not all weatherstripping lasts forever, so inspect doors and windows and reapply if necessary.
With these tips, it’s possible to affordably and comfortably heat your home this season.