We know home energy costs are getting more expensive. Did you know that you’re heating and cooling bills account for 56% of your energy use? Here are some tips to help stick a fork in these rising costs!
Annual tune ups
We suggest twice a year to keep you’re heating system operating at its highest efficiency possible. It is more cost effective to maintain your system than to allow unidentified problems to occur, causing damage that could result in expensive repairs. A simple tune up can extend the life of the unit as well as lower your monthly heating bills tremendously.
Insulate windows and doors
Energy rated doors and windows add an extra layer of insulation to your home. While most of the heat escapes through these spots, energy rated windows and doors add a barrier of sorts between your heated home and the elements.
Change air filters
The EPA lists indoor air quality among the top five risks to human health, probably because indoor air can be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air. Changing your air filters once a month will help reduce the indoor airborne particles that cause congestion & colds, allergies and flu viruses. In addition to poor air quality that can be harmful to your health, the life of your heating system depends on it. A dirty or clogged air filter will result in stale air and allow dirt to collect on internal parts causing overheating and possible break downs. By circulating clean air you will provide enough airflow through the system allowing it not to work harder than it needs, which will use less energy and lower those monthly heating bills.
Locate escaping air
You can use a candle to locate random holes near your baseboards, windows, doors and ceilings. Replace weather stripping or install new weather stripping. Caulk any gaps or use insulation, it’s very easy and the internet provides DIY’s plenty of how to info.
Installing programmable thermostats gives you much needed flexibility in your temperature settings. By making simple adjustments to your specific living situations you can save around 10% a year on your cooling and heating bills. Some adjustments might be turning your thermostats back 1°–5°, Setting your night time (sleeping) temp higher or even off, adjust your thermostat for your work hours. Another way to use a programmable thermostat is to install a spit room system allowing you to adjust temps in rooms not being used or shut them off all together.
Proper insulation is the key in keeping your heating costs down in the winter. To determine the most economic insulation level for your house, go to the U.S. Department of Energy’s zip code insulation calculator. You could save at least 20 percent on your monthly heating bills.
Inspect your ducts
Every few years it’s a good idea to inspect your ducts. A leaky or poor insulated duct could be costing you, your hard earned money. Hire a professional to properly inspect, seal & insulate ducts to ensure the air flow distribution system is allowing your heating system to work at its highest efficiency.
Spread your heat
By using a ceiling fan, your thermostat can more accurately read the temp and your heat will be even spread instead of staying up near the ceiling all day. It’s your money hiding out up there; pull it down with your ceiling fan. The blades should turn ‘forward’ in a clockwise motion. This will push up the air and pull the warm trapped air down into the room, improving your heat distribution and saving energy costs.
Make sure all registers are clear of debris & furniture. A properly breathing system will ensure correct air displacement allowing your heating system to not be over worked. We do not recommend closing registers to promote heating another room better. Doing this, taxes your heating system, causing it to work harder to heat your home. In turn raising your energy costs.
Install high efficiency
The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, rating measures the overall energy performance of a furnace or An AFUE of 95% means that 95 percent of your energy dollar becomes heat for your home and the remaining 5 percent escapes. The higher the AFUE, the more heat you get for your dollar.
Heating System Size
Make sure the heating system you are purchasing is sized correctly for your home. An undersized furnace or heat pump will not heat your home properly, and an over-sized heating system will cost more to purchase and to operate. Don’t just assume your new heating system should be exactly the same as your existing system, which may not have been properly sized in the first place Proper installation is critical. Improper installation can lower efficiency by up to 30 percent, increase utility bills and will reduce the life expectancy of the heating system.
Simple Heating Tips
- After baking or making dinner in the oven, leave the door open a crack. There’s a lot of heat in that oven, so put that heat to good use by warming up the kitchen and surrounding rooms. Which means your heating system has to run less?
- Use insulated curtains or drapes at night, which will slow down the warm air escaping through the windows. During the day open all sun facing window curtains to gain natural solar heat from the sun light entering your home.
- Avoid running exhaust fans, using a bathroom or kitchen exhaust fan can deplete your home of its warm air. Minimize your heat loss by turning them off as soon as possible.
- Keep doors closed to smaller rooms that you’re not using. Heating smaller areas will result in lower heating bills.
- Just like Mom use to yell, Shut that door! Use a blanket if you’re cold, or put on a sweat shirt. There are many ways to lower your energy costs and lighten our carbon foot print, it all starts with paying attention to it.