Winter Heating Tips
Adjust the Temperature
- For heat pumps, maintaining a moderate temperature setting (around 68°F or lower) is recommended for energy-efficiency. Recently, some companies have developed specially designed programmable thermostats for heat pumps, which make setting back the temperature setting energy efficient.
- If you have a heat pump, do not set back the heat pump's thermostat if it causes the backup heating to come on. When a heat pump is in heating mode, setting back the thermostat can cause the unit to operate inefficiently and cancel out any savings achieved by lowering the temperature setting.
- When you are at home and awake, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable (68°F or lower).
- When you are asleep or out of the house, turn your thermostat back 10°–15° for eight hours. This should save around 10% a year on your heating and cooling bills.
- A programmable thermostat can make it easy to set back your temperature.
- Find out from the DOE how to operate your thermostat for maximum energy savings.
Maintain Your Heating Systems
- Schedule service for your heating system. Find out from the DOE what maintenance is required to keep your heating system operating efficiently.
- If you heat with a furnace, replace your furnace filter once a month or as needed. View more tips from the DOE about maintaining your furnace or boiler.
- For heat pumps, clean or change filters once a month or as needed and clean outdoor coils whenever they appear dirty. View more tips about operating and maintaining your heat pump from the DOE.
- Clean your fireplace flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the fireplace with a wire brush periodically to ensure that your home is heated efficiently.
- Keep your fireplace damper closed unless a fire is going. Keeping the damper open is like keeping a window wide open during the winter; it allows warm air to go right up the chimney.
- When you use the fireplace, reduce heat loss by opening dampers in the bottom of the firebox (if provided) or open the nearest window slightly—approximately 1 inch—and close doors leading into the room.
- When using your fireplace, lower your thermostat setting to between 50° and 55°F.
- If you never use your fireplace, plug and seal the chimney flue.
- If you use the fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system that blows warmed air back into the room.
- Check the seal on the fireplace flue damper and make it as snug as possible.
- Add caulking around the fireplace hearth. Find out more techniques to improve your fireplace or wood-burning appliance's efficiency from the DOE.