When the temperature goes down, the cost of keeping your home comfortable goes up. Here are some ways you can lower the cost of keeping your home cozy and keep your bills low.
Maintain your furnace
Keeping your furnace in good condition is important for allowing the system to run efficiently and on less energy. Maintaining your furnace also prolongs its life.
A dirty filter can impede air movement and make the system have to work harder. This in turn increases the energy usage.
A filter keeps the air in your home clean. Change the filter at least every 6 months.
Don’t wait until the beginning of the cold season to call you HVAC technician. Remember that everyone else will want to fix their furnace at that same time!
Install a programmable thermostat
The easiest way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature is by installing a programmable thermostat. You can program the thermostat to maintain certain temperatures throughout the day. Why run the furnace at night when everyone is under their covers? Instead, the furnace can keep the house at, say, 70 degrees during the day and turn off at night. Then, it can turn back on automatically when the people in the house get up.
It is easier to program a learning thermostat like Nest. Based on the way you adjust the thermostat during the day, it learns what temperatures you like at what times of day and programs itself to meet your needs.
Most heat loss in your house happens around windows and doors. There could be small places through which the warm air can escape the house. These can be plugged with weatherstripping.
Warm air can rise through the chimney of your fireplace and allow cold air to replace it. Use weatherstripping to prevent this.
Curtains and blinds provide insulation. They reduce the heat loss through the windows.
Add insulation to walls
Heat can be lost through walls. Since they make up most of the house’s structure, heat loss through them can be significant.
Adding insulation to your walls can reduce that heat loss. You can also add insulation to the attic.
Prevent heat loss from the water heater
Water in the water heater can lose its heat through the walls. And since water heaters are usually installed in an unheated garage, heat loss can be significant.
Cover the water heater with insulation to prevent heat loss.
The average temperature setting for water heaters is 145 degrees. Lowering the temperature to 120 degrees could save you money.
Check ducts for leaks
According the US Department of Energy, 20-40% of air going through the insulation system in most houses leaks through the ductwork.
If your utility bills are higher than average, then get your duct work examined by a professional HVAC technician. You may have a leaky duct.