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Published on: 11/03/2022

Prepping for a cleaner heating season.

Written by: The Nest Renew Team

When heating your home, there are simple ways to be more efficient to save energy and money.

In most American homes, heating uses more energy than anything else, even air conditioning. More than half of U.S. households use polluting fossil fuels for heat, primarily natural gas. In some of the coldest regions of the U.S., oil and propane still make up a considerable portion of heating fuel.

No matter your heating source, Nest thermostats can deliver automatic reminders to perform the maintenance needed to keep your heating system running as efficiently as possible. This is a big deal when it comes to containing energy costs as temperatures plunge. In fact, heating accounts for about 45% of the typical American home’s energy use. Consistent maintenance paired with a few other simple actions, including proper sealing and insulation, can reduce your energy costs by up to 30%.

Here are a few ways to get started:

Change dirty air filters.

When the air filters in your furnace or heat pump look unwell, that’s a sign they need to be replaced. An air filter turns black or brown when dust and dirt accumulates in it. That discoloration means that warm air is not flowing easily through it, which means your heating system has to consume more energy to keep your home warm. Though some experts suggest swapping out your filter every three months, check it more often and let your eyes tell you when it needs to be replaced.

Fine-tune your thermostat setting.

A Nest thermostat gives you the ability to schedule the temperature in your house based on your daily activities and comfort preferences. One wintertime tip to help reduce your energy use: Program your Nest thermostat to keep your house warmer while you’re awake and cooler while you sleep (the U.S. Department of Energy suggests keeping your home at 68 F in winter to maximize efficiency).

With Nest, you can also sign up for Seasonal Savings, which uses everything it’s learned about the home and temperature settings going into both winter and summer to run more efficiently without sacrificing comfort. Additionally, by signing up for Nest Renew Premium1, you can match the fossil fuel electricity used in your home with enough clean energy to cover the average U.S. household.2

Hold on to your hot air.

Heating efficiency is all about ensuring the hot air produced by your heating system isn’t wasted. Too often, though, a home’s duct system - which circulates warm air to the rooms in your house - has leaks and holes for warm air to escape. As much as 30% of the air that has been conditioned to keep your house toasty is lost because of an improperly sealed duct system. For the most ambitious and handy homeowners, sealing and insulating your duct system may be a DIY task. For the rest of us, professional help can be worth the price tag.

When we all take simple actions to reduce our energy use, it can add up to a big impact for the planet.

A mom, dad, and their two young daughters are playing around the couch. The dad is playing Jenga while the mom and daughters look at the game.

Nest Renew helps you support a clean energy future, right from home.