December 9, 2013
There are a number of simple ways to reduce the cost of heating your home.
We are already starting to feel the nip of the Winter, and with energy prices once again on the rise, you may be starting to worry about the cost of heating your home. There are a number of simple ways that you can combat this. With a few minor adjustments and purchases, you should be able to cut a percentage of those costs down.
Tune-up The Furnace
The first step is to have your furnace tuned up every year by a professional HVAC company. This should include resetting the fuel-air mixture and cleaning the blower and burners. This assures that you are receiving the most possible airflow at complete combustion. Airflow can also be hindered by dirty filters. During the winter months ask your HVAC technician to check them each month and change them when needed.
Your HVAC technician can also help you check for any leaks or disconnected spots in your home’s ductwork. If you have ducts that run through unheated spots, like an attic, make sure that they are well insulated.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t already have one, ask your HVAC company to install a programmable thermostat. With these, you are able to adjust the temperature and allow for your house to remain cool at night or while no one is home, and yet heat up just before you need it. By reducing the temperature 10 degrees you will see a savings of up to 15%.
Cut back on hot water. Start by adjusting the thermostat on your water heater to 120 degrees. Having it flushed once a year gets rid of any sediment and makes it run more efficiently. Use low flow showerheads and avoid taking hot baths. When possible use the cold water setting on your washing machine and repair any leaky faucets in your home. If your water heater is old it may no longer be adequately insulated and could be losing valuable heat. Consider installing a water heater blanket.
Additional Tips and Tricks
Another trick is to reverse the flow of your ceiling fans. Having them run in a clockwise direction during the winter will allow it to pull cold air out of the room and towards the ceiling. Take advantage of the sun’s heat by opening the drapes on any south-facing windows. When possible, close the exhaust vents in your bathroom and kitchen. Not only are they removing moisture, but they are letting your homes hot air escape outside. Do a check on the weather stripping around all your home doors and windows. Any that are worn should be replaced so as not to allow cold air to enter. Don’t forget the door sweeps. If your doors are not already equipped with these, consider installing them.
Many people think that utilizing the fireplace in the winter is a good way to cut down on their energy costs. The truth is, it actually draws the heat out of a room and right up the chimney. Check to ensure that the flue on your chimney is securely closed and consider a glass enclosure in front of the fireplace to help minimize the amount of heat that escapes.
With very little out of pocket expense, a homeowner can do a lot to minimize their utility bills this winter. If you are diligent, yet still do not notice a substantial difference, the problem may lie with your furnace itself. Call Scott-Lee Heating Company at (314) 200-0788 to see if your home may be in need of a new one.