Compartmentalizing a Big Home to Save on Energy Bills

by Ben SanfordDecember 31, 2018

Chances Are, There’s No Time When Every Room in Your House Gets Used Simultaneously

One of the most universally disliked things among homeowners is the monthly utility bill. In the summer, the cost of cooling the home is astronomical. In winter, heating the home also hits the wallet hard. And, with spring and fall seemingly getting shorter and shorter every year, it’s not uncommon for some parts of the country to switch from AC to heat within a week.

For a big house, this can mean no escape from high energy bills. To save on your heating bill this winter, you will have to take measures into your own hands. Along with starting some new energy-saving habits, you can compartmentalize your home to help control your heating even further. Here are some tips to get you started.

winterizing your home

1. Look at Your Home in Terms of “Zones”

When you look at your home, instead of seeing several bedrooms, bathrooms, a living room, and more, look at it as if it is broken down into various zones. With this in mind, each zone should have its own heating strategy. After all, you will rarely, if ever, use all the rooms in your house at the same time. So, for the sake of this article, let’s call your living room zone 1. Your bedrooms can be zone 2, 3, and so on, with the rest of your home’s rooms following.

2. Consider Each Zone’s Unique Heating Needs

Each of the zones in your home has their own purpose and there is usually a length of time associated with that purpose. For instance, your family might spend the evening together in the living room from 8 to 11pm. Meanwhile, you have a spare bedroom that is only ever used when you have company. When you look at how each zone is used, you will start seeing patterns emerge regarding when they are used. This will help you identify when and for how long those zones should be heated.

winterizing your home

3. Turn Off the Heat in Unused Rooms

While it is better for your air conditioning to leave all the vents and doors open in the home, heating is a different story. If a zone is unused, why heat it? Close the vents in your unused rooms and keep the doors closed. This will allow the heated air to be concentrated in the populated rooms while keeping the doors shut will help prevent warm air from being sucked into cool rooms.

An even better way to manage the heat in your home’s zones is to use a smart thermostat. These allow you to individually control the heat in each of your zones. So, you can simply use the app on your phone to lower or turn off the heat to certain zones when they are not in use.

4. Weatherize All Rooms

Before the cold weather really sets in, you should take a weekend and weatherize all your windows, electrical outlets, and doors. Replace any cracked or missing caulk along the windows. Install draft barriers between the plates and the switches or receptacles located on exterior walls. Install fresh weather-stripping around your exterior entry doors.

You can help insulate your rooms even further by hanging heavy, insulated drapes and keeping them closed at night. You can also use a window-insulating product to help seal any drafts.

winterizing your home

Take Control of Your Heat, Don’t Let It Control You

This winter, don’t let your heating bill take you to the bank. Take control of how your home is heated. It’s even more important when your home is a sizable one.

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About The Author
Ben Sanford
Ben is a real estate agent and freelance writer. He's lived on the east coast his entire life and is just as "at home" on a snowboard as he is in the office. When not writing about local real estate markets and researching hot new tips for homeowners, he can be found working on his home renovation projects with help from his wife Melissa and their kids, Josh and Cheyenne.