Utah is known for its hot summers and frigid winters. As the temperature drops, it becomes common practice to crank up our thermostats so our homes can be toasty and warm. But did you know that cranking up the heat is actually doing more harm than good?
Natural gas is commonly used in Utah households. When we use our furnace, natural gas is released into the environment mixing with the air. This produces Nitrogen Oxide (NOX), which is harmful to our health and Utah's air quality.
Clearly we don't want anyone to freeze during Utah's cold winter months, but lowering your thermostat at least two degrees can make a big difference. Here are our tips for staying warm with a lower thermostat setting:
1. Let in the light - By opening your curtains during the day and closing them at night to you'll help keep more heat inside your home.
2. Lose the leaks - Check your air ducts and make sure they are properly sealed. You should also use weather-stripping around your doors and windows.
3. Don't hate, insulate! – Hate the feeling of a cold drafty house? Add insulation to your walls and attic to keep more warm air inside.
4. Layer it – Winter is not the time to rock those summer PJ's. Add a sweatshirt or robe and slippers or thick socks to stay toasty.
5. Cuddle up – Stay warm and cozy while you're watching your favorite shows with thick, fuzzy blankets.
6. Sip and savor - Make hot chocolate or soup to banish that chill.
7. Work it out - Get your blood flowing and heat up by trying a home workout program.
In addition to being an environmental rock star, there are other benefits to lowering your thermostat:
- Save money on heating and cooling bills
- Reduce your personal emissions
- Burn some extra calories
- Keep those houseplants alive – they like it cooler!
- Fewer maintenance problems for your refrigerator
- Sleep better in cooler temps
Show UCAIR this inversion season and join us in lowering your thermostat at least two degrees to improve Utah's air. Together we can make a difference in the air we breathe. For more tips and ideas on how you and your family can improve air quality this winter, visit UCAIR.org.