Manage Heating with Awareness
It is commonly known that heat rises, if you need an example, open your freezer and see where the cold air goes. This same principle also applies to hot air balloons; the hot air causes the balloon to rise. What does it mean for your home in the winter? Unfortunately this means several different things depending on the type of home you have. On average 60% of heat escapes through the roof of a house. A simple way to check the amount of heat escaping is to look during the winter months. If you have icicles, you have a problem, and need to add more insulation. Another common culprit that can steal your heat is a fireplace. Aren’t fireplaces supposed to supply heat? While this is generally true if you forget to close the flue after a fire your heat will begin escaping through the chimney.
If you live in an apartment you may have experienced the affects of heat rising in a unique way. You may become increasingly hot in the winter even when your furnace is turned off. In some cases the extra heat can be so bad that apartment livers will actually turn on the air conditioning in the middle of the winter! Before you undertake such a severe path consider this, in the winter the outside air is probably very cold. If you have the ability to open your windows a common household fan may be far more productive and far cheaper than your AC.
For anyone heating their homes with an electric furnace this winter consider adding a home energy monitor to your arsenal. Electric heat is already considered to be an extremely expensive method and unfortunately for apartments you may not have any other option. The home energy monitor has the ability to show you how your furnace performs. With real-time information you can view exactly when and how often the heater kicks on. Comparing this information to weather data will show you if the heater turned on more because of the cold, poor insulation or some other factor.
For those that live in an apartment, do not complain about your free heat! Using the energy monitor you will be able to tell if your furnace is kicking on in the middle of the night, or, if having the windows open while you are away is too much. No one likes to come home to a hot apartment, but, no one likes a large electric bill either. Energy awareness will help you decide how to manage your heat in the most efficient way this winter.