Tips for Saving Money on Your Heating Bill this Winter
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Cold temperatures, winter winds, and plenty of snow are all right around the corner, which means your furnace is about to take center stage when it comes to family comfort. If last winter you promised yourself that you would take measures to lower your heating bill, now’s the time to make good on that promise. With just a few simple ideas, you can save energy and money all winter long.
The average American household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills, according to Energy Star, the Environmental Protection Agency’s energy conservation program. There’s plenty of room to save money there, here’s a few to try at your house.
Let the Sun Shine In
Start by taking advantage of natural heat offered by the sun. Open shades on south facing windows during the day to allow the sun to warm those rooms for free. The solar energy you collect during the day will work for you during the early evening as well, as long as you’ve done a good job of trapping the heat.
Don’t Let Heat Escape
Unfortunately a lot of homes aren’t air tight, and a lot of homeowners still believe that they should let their homes “breathe” in order to circulate fresh air. Neither is true, particularly for newer homes.
Don’t run your exhaust fans all day (or night), be sure to close the flue on all fireplaces whenever they’re not in use, and replace old weatherstripping around exterior doors.
Cold air seeps in through any crack or opening in your home, including around doors and windows. In fact, as much as 12% of a home's heat is lost through the spaces around windows and doors. Even if they don't turn it up, they're losing warm air, causing the furnace to work harder.
Similarly, you’ll want to adjust your exterior door thresholds if you can see daylight under your door. If the door doesn’t make contact with the threshold, you’re losing heat and gaining cold air all day (and night) long.
Another potential source for heat loss is electrical boxes on exterior walls. Generally this is a result of not being properly insulated and it’s an easy fix. Simply remove the cover, and fill the area around the electric box with acrylic latex caulk, or for larger gaps, foam sealant. Then place a foam gasket over the outlet or switch and replace the cover plate.
Seal any gaps you find around pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house with expanding foam.
Change the Air Filters in your HVAC System
Keeping your HVAC system well maintained includes changing out the air filter on a regular basis. Not only will you equipment run better, you’ll have cleaner air circulating in your home. Plan to change out the air filters about once a month.
Out with the Old, In with the New
If your home’s HVAC equipment ten years or older, it’s time to replace it. You can install Energy Star products for higher energy efficiency and replace old equipment that uses Freon refrigerant (R22) with a system that uses Puron refrigerant (R410A), which is more energy efficient and environmentally sound.
If your HVAC system is relatively new or if you’re not ready to invest in a new system, start by replacing your thermostat. Programmable thermostats make it easy to save money. Set it to automatically turn down the temperature by 10 to 15 degrees while you’re away or asleep, cutting your heating bill by 10% or more.
If you have questions about your air HVAC system, give Crane Heating and Air Conditioning a call today: 513-641-4700.