Hot oven

After cooking or baking is done, turn off the oven but leave the door open to warm the kitchen and dining area without adjusting the home thermostat.

Winter weather requires all types of modifications, including donning additional layers of clothing or turning the thermostat up a few ticks. But such adjustments can have an adverse impact on the environment, including increasing a person’s carbon footprint and energy consumption.

Just because temperatures are dropping and snow is falling does not mean it’s alright to ignore eco-friendly practices to conserve energy. The following are a handful of ways to enjoy an eco-friendly winter.

- Install a programmable thermostat. The United States Department of Energy estimates that consumers can save 10% on their heating bills by rolling back their thermostat 10 to 15% over an eight-hour period. Program your thermostat to keep the heat low while you’re at work or away from home. The latest digital thermostats are both user-friendly and visually appealing when hung on the wall.

- Replace furnace filters regularly. When warm air has to work harder to push through dirty filters, the result is an inefficient system that consumes more energy. Be sure to check the condition of furnace filters on a regular basis and clean all input registers and output vents around the house.

- Use residual heat to your advantage. Open the bathroom door after taking a steamy shower and let that warm, moist air make its way to other rooms in the house. After cooking or baking is done, turn off the oven but leave the door open to warm the kitchen and dining area without adjusting the home thermostat. Keep draperies and blinds on south- and west-facing windows wide open during the day to maximize sunlight and warmth.

- Seal drafts and close off seldom-used rooms. Sealing drafty windows and doors can save substantial amounts of money. An old towel placed in the crack under the door can alleviate drafts as well. Close doors of rooms that aren’t used, and close the heating/cooling vents in those spaces so the heat is maximized and circulated where it’s needed.