9 Tips For Lowering Your Heating Costs This Winter
Most of the US is now deep into heating season. Which is also one of the most expensive seasons as far as electric bills go. Here are 9 tips for heating your home without breaking the bank.
Get a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit is designed to find issues (if they exist) in the home. Things like drafty doors and windows or bad insulation can all be caught with a thorough search. Giving you guidance on what work your home may need.
Insulating your home more keeps rising heat from escaping out of your roof. The better insulated you are the more energy efficient you are. The more energy efficient you are, the lower your electric bills are.
Fix Those Leaks
The problem with drafts is they not only make you feel cold they confuse your thermostat. A well placed draft can cause your thermostat to think it is colder than it is. And your thermostat, just doing its job, cranks up the heat. Windows account for a lot of heat loss in most homes. The older the home and windows are, the worse it gets.
Weather stripping and caulking around windows can seriously help reduce drafts. You can also buy films to put over your windows. When direct heat is applied they press down tightly around the window frame. These can also drastically reduce lost heating.
If you have hardwood floors those can also be a major loss of heat. Anyone who has stepped on them in bare feet early in the morning can attest to this. An area run can help you trap heat and keep your feet warm.
Ever notice how one room may just not warm up much in winter? Our first instinct may be to crank the heat up even more, but for the sake of your energy bill please refrain. There are a few common culprits for this that should be explored before you touch the thermostat.
This may seem obvious but you know what they say about things in plain sight. Look at each vent in the room. Are they open? Is any furniture blocking them? These are the two most likely issues. The worst thing that could happen here is if the vent is rusted shut. But the cost of a new vent cover is still much cheaper than cranked up heat or a new heating system.
Dirty Furnace Filter
Another common but much more forgotten issue. How long has it been since you’ve changed your furnace filter? Be honest.
We get it. Furnaces are often out of sight, out of mind. Their filters, doubly so since they are often a pain to swap out. The standard timeline to replace furnace filters is:
– 1- to 2-inch filters need to be replaced every 1 to 3 months.
– 3- to 4-inch filters need to be replaced every 6 to 9 months.
– 5- to 6-inch filters need to be replaced every 9 to 12 months.
These suggested swaps should be done faster if you have pets or smoke in your home. A dirty filter restricts airflow to the home. This can cause uneven heating. So if you cannot remember the last time you swapped out your filter that may be the culprit.
Size Of Your Furnace
This is a lot less likely than a dirty filter but it is still worth noting, while we are on the subject. Check that the size of your furnace is correct for your home. Too big or too small of a furnace can cause major heating issues.
One of the meanest jokes in life during winter is that heat rises…and we don’t live on our ceilings. This also means that rooms at the top of your home will be warmer than your basement. One simple solution is to switch the fan control on your thermostat from “auto” to “on”. This creates less strain on your heating system while getting lower floors to warmer temperatures.
If this doesn’t help, destratification fans are also an option. They are common in rooms with high ceilings because they force the rising hot air back down towards the floor. A similar effect can also be achieved by flipping on the reverse switch on your ceiling fan. This causes the blades to spin in a different direction, forcing air down not up.
Let The Sunlight In
During the day open up blinds and curtains to let the sun do some of the heating for you. Then reverse that at night by closing them. Since temperatures are much lower and drapes do help with drafts. You can even double up on curtains. Who doesn’t love being stylish while being frugal? Speaking of stylish:
The more covered up you are the warmer you are. Things like light sweaters and wearing socks can help you warm up instead of trying to heat up the whole house. Saving you money and giving you an economical excuse to accessorise.
Adjust Your Thermostat
Turning your thermostat down 8 to 10 degrees for 8 hours can save you up to 10% on your heating bill. This is a nice chunk of change considering your furnace is probably running 24/7 when it’s cold out. Setting your thermostat to 68 degrees is widely recommended as a cost cutting measure. You save at least 5% on your heating costs for every degree you go under 70.
Which would also save you around 10%.
But please don’t fully turn off your heat. It costs way more to heat a freezing cold home than it does just to keep one at temperature. Turn the dial down, not off!
They make everything mentioned above so much simpler. Not only will a smart or programmable thermostat keep the temperature down when you are away. You can also set them to start heating back up before you return home. Keeping you comfortable and energy efficient.
There you have it. 9 mostly simple ways to cut your heating budget way down. Remember the more energy efficient you are the more you will save!
Give us a call today at (636) 699-0449 or request your free inspection today. If you’re in the St. Charles County area and looking for an experienced roofing and siding contractor, we are bringing forth over 20 years of experience in the roofing industry. That’s something you can trust and especially if we’re in your neck of the woods.