We all want to save money on heating costs, but it can be especially difficult to save during the winter. According to the energy department, the average American family spends upwards of $1400 a year in utility bills. A drafty house, tired old furnace, and leaky windows can all add up to big energy bills which you’re paying for, but not benefitting from.
There are a few steps you can take to reduce your heating cost by making a few simple repairs or adjustments. Some can be done at home, while others call for a professional.
Cutting Heating Costs This Winter
Make sure your home is properly insulated. The first place to check your insulation is the attic. We all know heat rises, so make sure you’re trapping that valuable heat. Do you have an unfinished basement, cathedral ceilings, or a porch? All these areas can be insulated! Did you know we do insulation? Call us for a free quote!
Winterize Your Windows
Check for cracks or spaces around the windows, and make sure your windows and doors have a tight seal when closed. A lot of heat can escape from these, and conversely wind and moisture will come in. You can add weather stripping to both doors and windows. You can also use caulk to seal your windows; this technique might take you a while to learn. If you have an extra layer of storm windows you put up each year, you can coat the windows from the outside or inside. If you don’t have storm windows, a plywood frame with heavy plastic will help keep the heat in.
Window insulator kits are super easy to use, and surprisingly effective. Simply put the plastic over the windows, secure it tightly along the frame with double sided tape, trim the excess plastic, and use a blow dryer to make sure the fit is nice and snug.
Get Your Furnace Inspected
Keeping your furnace in great working order means it performs the way it was designed. If it has to work too hard, it can cost you a lot in your energy bill. An HVAC professional will check your furnace, the ducts, the vents, and everything else that is required to make sure your furnace will be ready to handle the winter.
If there are repairs that need to be done, get them done right away. These may seem like they are not very important, but it will only be more expensive and inconvenient if you don’t.
Clean or Change Filters
A dirty or clogged filter can block airflow, making your system work harder. They can also release the debris that is caught in them into the air. Checking your filters is easy and will save you a lot of money on possible furnace or A/C repairs, as well as your energy bill.
A programmable thermostat learns your schedule and will lower the temperature at night and when you leave for work, along with raising it when you’re headed home. Many brands have corresponding apps for your smartphone so you can get alerts or check in remotely. Lowering your thermostat by more than 10 degrees can lower your annual HVAC costs by 10%!
Turning down the thermostat will also help keep the costs down. Don’t let it get too low, as your pipes can freeze. Also make sure to keep your cabinets cracked slightly so the warm air can get to the pipes. Add an extra layer of clothing, use heating pads or blankets, and cuddle up.
Solar power is becoming more popular all the time and it can save you a lot of money, though initial sticker shock is normal. Even a few panels will make a significant difference in your energy bill. There are often other incentives that you can take advantage of when you install solar panels. In 2021, there will be a federal tax credit of 22% on installed solar panels.
Close off unused rooms. If they are not in everyday use, they don’t need to be heated. You can roll up a blanket or a towel and place it under the door if there is a big gap. This will work for any space that sends a draft to your ankles. You can also close the vents off as well.
Get Expert Advice
Call the pros at Bob Hamilton for all the advice about your heater, plumbing, and any other questions you may have. They can check your furnace to make sure it is up to the job this winter.
Don’t leave it to chance. Better Call Bob.