Wherever you are in the world, as the autumn makes way for the winter temperatures staying warm and comfortable at home becomes a priority. Depending on your location, it’s true that some houses will require more powerful heating solutions than others, but one thing that we all have in common is finding the right balance between our comfort and keeping costs down. Luckily, there are numerous energy-saving tips for the winter months that most households can use to keep the cold and damp at bay.
If you’re keen to learn the best winter savings tips and efficient heating tricks while staying as comfortable as possible, read on.
Keeping Warm Goes Beyond Comfort
No one likes to feel chilly when relaxing at home, let alone feel cold, but there is more than your comfort at stake.
Prolonged exposure to low indoor temperatures and damp can impact our health in numerous ways: Conditions that affect the respiratory system including the common cold, increased susceptibility to depression and anxiety, and increased circulatory issues like blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes, among others. Source CSE.org.uk
A cold home is also an enemy to itself; as we attempt to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, this creates the perfect conditions for damp to thrive. This can cause damage to your home and personal belongings.
So, with reasons beyond your comfort to keep your home warm during winter, the next question is ‘how can you do it and keep bills low at the same time?’
Energy Saving Tips for Winter
Below, we’ve compiled the top tips and tricks to help you keep the chill away whilst helping you keep costs down. From practical ideas that most households can use to specialized solutions by Hitachi Cooling & Heating, here are our energy-saving tips for winter.
Make the most of your curtains and blinds
During the day, let the sunlight (and the natural warmth it brings) in, particularly in your south-facing windows. At sundown, close the curtains and blinds so the windows are better insulated and you can stop heat loss through them. It is estimated that between 10-25% of a house heat is lost through the windows.
20 -21ºC is enough
One degree less at home can make a dramatic difference in your heating bill (you can expect to see a cost reduction of 3% per degree less in a 24-hour period). Many people set their thermostats around 23 ºC but, actually, 21ºC or 20 ªC is enough to feel comfortable at home if you are wearing some long-sleeved garments. In fact, it is a good idea to set the temperature as low as possible within your comfort range.
When you are sleeping you can even turn the thermostat back around 15ªC or even less (up to 10 ºC). You don't need any heating when you are not at home. Your best bet for maximizing efficiency is having a programmable thermostat.
Close the doors
A bad habit that can lead to energy being wasted. When at home in the winter, it’s best to close the doors of the rooms being heated and those that are not in use. This is to avoid cold air creeping out of vacant rooms and affecting the temperatures of others. On another note, if you can, make sure to turn off or reduce the heating being supplied to empty rooms. It’s a common and easy mistake but one that consumes more energy than needed.
Seal any air leaks
Perhaps one of the more time-consuming tips on our list, foam or fabric draft snake kits on windows and doors stop air leaks and drafts ruining your efforts. Then, for cracks and other fractures utilize silicone caulking and weatherstripping to seal them off effectively. You’ll be surprised just how much heat is being lost but also by how easy it is to seal off unwanted leaks.
Prevent heat loss from your fireplace
If you're not using the fireplace, don't leave your fireplace damper open: It's like letting a window wide open! You will be letting warm air out and cold air in.
Keep heat sources free of obstacles
Do you have a sofa or tall cupboard sitting right in front of your heating source? Then we suggest you to move your furniture around to maximise the distribution of heat. Even homes with limited space can benefit from moving their large pieces of furniture a few inches away, leaving space for improved airflow.
Carpets will isolate your feet from the cold in the ground. In a bathroom, instead of wool carpets, you can use natural fibre (such as jute or sisal) carpets on the floor.
Keep the right level of moisture
This might sound counterintuitive, but it is essential to keep the right level of moisture in the air. During winter months, the air tends to be drier and heating a room can further evaporate humidity. This dryness not only makes the air feel colder, but it also prevents air to retain the heat for a longer period. The ideal indoor humidity level during winter should be 30-40%.
Houseplants are a good way to regulate moisture levels. It is also helpful to keep small bowls of water near your heating system.
Switch to an aerothermal heating system
Aerothermy is not only a more sustainable heating alternative, but it is also considered a new source of renewable energy. It requires less energy consumption, which translates to lower costs.
What is aerothermal technology?
Aerothermal technology takes advantage of the thermal energy existing in the air, an inexhaustible energy source. This means you no longer will need gas or fuel, making it also a safer alternative.
Aerothermal systems can both be used to heat a room or cool it, and they can even provide sanitary hot water.
How do aerothermal systems work?
Aerothermy extracts the thermal energy from the air, bringing heat inside or outside your home as necessary. Aerothermal systems use a closed circuit with a cooling gas. Increasing the air pressure in the gas heats the air. The heat pump then transfers this energy to where it is needed, from outside your home to inside of it, heating it, or vice versa, cooling your house after the heat has been expelled and the pressure has lowered down in the circuit.
This works because even cold air has "heat" (thermal energy) in it. In the process, aerothermal equipments create more energy than they use: this is the reason they are considered to be a source of renewable energy.
What are the benefits of aerothermal heating systems?
Aerothermal systems provide great advantages over traditional heating and air conditioning systems:
- They are green, as they use a renewable energy source.
- Although installation is more expensive than in traditional equipment, they are cheaper to use, as they require less energy (low consumption system).
- They are safer since they don't use any fuel.
- They are versatile systems, able to provide heating and sanitary hot water as well as air conditioning.
- They can use specialized low-temperature radiators, fan coils or underfloor heating. They are compact and easy to install.
- They change the temperature without modifying moisture levels, thereby positively affecting air quality and people's general well being.
Hitachi's Yutaki S heat pumps are a prime example of aerothermal technology at its finest. They provide comfort all year round delivering heating, cooling and hot water with a wide operating range of 20ºC to 46 ºC.
Besides the reduced power use compared with traditional systems, it is also compatible with solar panels for even greater savings. The Yutaki S has also four different energy-saving power modes to choose from, so you can its use to your current lifestyle and preferences.
Smart Energy with airCloud Home
Our latest suite of smart air conditioner apps, includes airCloud Home, giving you the power to control your home’s climate from wherever you are. For air conditioners and heat pumps, use the app to program and control your system in real-time and learn how to operate it more efficiently. It’s the perfect tool if you have an ever-changing schedule because you can adjust the settings on the move and even turn it on when you’re almost home so that you step into a warm environment.
Hitachi Cooling & Heating users will benefit from an array of specialized modes and functions that are designed to support winter comfort and cost. If you’re interested to know more about Hitachi Heating & Cooling products and our solutions that will help your comfort cost less, then visit our main website here.
Of course, there are lots of other ways of keeping costs down. Have you got any energy-saving tips for winter comfort that you would add to our list?
Visit www.hitachiaircon.com and access your local site for more information on aerothermal systems (not available in all regions).