If you’re looking for ways to lower your heating bills this winter, here’s a tip you can definitely use: install a humidifier in your home. Since the 1970’s, experts have recommended that homeowners set their thermostats to 68°F to save money on heating bills during the winter. Each degree you set your thermostat above this point will increase your heating bill by $8-$10 per month if you use natural gas, and even more if you use electricity or fuel oil. Likewise, each degree you reduce your thermostat setting below this point (to a point, anyway!) will save you a similar amount.
But the numbers on your thermostat don’t tell the whole story. 68°F can feel really cold (or quite comfy) depending upon the relative humidity inside your home. Heated air is generally dry air, and the drier the air is, the colder it will feel on your skin. A dry 68°F may feel unbearably cold – and convince you to kick the thermostat up a notch or two.
A better way to deal with this problem is to add a humidifier to your home. Humid air holds heat better and makes that “chilly” 68°F feel like a warm and comfortable 68°F. The warmer-feeling air can help you ward off the temptation to adjust your heating system. It can also make the air in your home more breathable, make your sinuses feel better and make your skin feel better, too. As an added bonus, it may even help preserve the woodwork, wood floors and your wood furniture, too!
Whole house humidifiers cost about $10 per month to run, so you can make the most of your heating budget by turning down your thermostat by a degree and operating a whole-house humidifier alongside your furnace or boiler. The money you save on lower heating costs will more than make up for the cost of the humidifier, and you can increase the comfort of your home at the same time.
If you would like more information about whole house humidifiers, contact us at Boston Standard Plumbing & Heating at (617) 288-2911. We’ll be happy to consult with you about humidifying your home in the winter. If you use social media, “Like” Boston Standard Plumbing on Facebook!