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Use Fans and Insulation to Help Retain Heat in Your Home


It’s no secret that heat rises, and capturing the hot air that travels up to a home’s ceiling is one way to keep your home warmer during the cold months.

Your electric fans can help you put the rising heat to work and lower your heating bill in the process. It’s a simple matter of changing the direction of ceiling fans┬áto rotate clockwise, which is the opposite of how they spin in summertime to cool off a room. By rotating in reverse, the hot air near the ceiling is circulated lower into the room. If you don’t have a ceiling fan, simply use a pedestal fan with the fan head tilted fully back to move air toward the ceiling. This will create a circular air pattern to push the warm air down. However, the movement of hot air downward only works if the fan is set to the lowest setting. Otherwise, a breeze is created that will chill the room.

If you don’t have fans to evenly circulate your home’s heating, you can warm up selected areas of the house that are in use while other rooms aren’t being used. That keeps your thermostat down instead of setting it higher to compensate for cold spots. Ceramic heaters warm small areas just enough to keep them toasty while you’re in those rooms and can be shut off when you leave.

Small heaters are relatively inexpensive to run, and portable enough to be moved easily from room to room. But making sure your home is properly insulated is a larger step you can take to retain heat and block the entry of cold air from outside as much as possible.

Retaining attic heat
Whether you have a walk-up attic or just a crawl space, there’s a great opportunity to retain the heat that naturally rises up there. If the attic is used as livable space, check the windows for leaks and make sure the walls are sufficiently insulated. Some simple methods for warming the area include tacking insulating plastic over the windows and using portable heaters during the cold season.

Having an energy audit done by your local utility company will determine if insulation should be added to a crawl space attic, which is usually insulated with either batt and roll or cellulose loose-fill insulation. These materials are available at home improvement stores and can be installed yourself or by a contractor. Make sure your insulation measures at least 7 inches in depth.

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