When the weather gets chilly, there are many ways to make your house toasty and warm without overheating your energy bills.
Space heaters, fireplaces and ceiling fans are commonly used to control the temperature during winter months, in addition to home heating units.
Space heaters are good at warming smaller rooms or areas, but they shouldn’t be used to heat the whole house because they use a lot of electricity, Tucson Electric Power energy efficiency experts say.
“For safety and efficiency reasons, limit space heaters to spot areas only,” said Randy Altergott, TEP Supervisor of Commercial Energy Efficiency Programs and Services.
The type of space heater is important to consider. Avoid using gas-fired heaters without vents because of potential safety hazards. Other electric heaters, like infrared ones, are generally safer when used properly.
Space heaters should be placed away from loose items, such as curtains or clothes. Also, be sure to warn children to keep a safe distance from them.
Fireplaces can be cozy on cool nights, but they aren’t the most efficient source of heat because warm air can escape up the chimney. Also, be careful of fumes.
It’s important to close the chimney damper after the flames and kindling are completely extinguished so that warm air stays inside.
While many Arizona homeowners install ceiling fans to stay cool in the summer, the fans also can be helpful in the winter. Ceiling fans can be turned to the winter setting – rotating clockwise – to blow cool air up and keep the warm air below.
Setting the thermostat can be tricky in Arizona, too, as nippy overnight temperatures can turn to short-sleeves weather by lunchtime.
In most homes, experts advise keeping the thermostat at the same setting – whatever is most comfortable – most of the time. In well-sealed homes, the temperature will stay constant most of the day, varying only slightly.
If you decide to change the temperature during the day, only do so a few degrees because the savings will be minimal.
”Picking a thermostat setting that balances comfort and affordability is the best path for efficiency,” said Armando Ruiz, a Senior Technical Specialist with TEP’s Residential Energy Efficiency Programs and Services.