Have you been trying to juggle keeping your home comfortable for the whole family while simultaneously attempting to lower your high heating bills this winter? It’s a struggle most homeowners face. There are, however, certain tricks you can try that will effectively increase your comfort and cut costs.
Adjust the thermostat.
Try to keep your thermostat set as low as is comfortable while you’re at home. At night or while you’re away, consider lowering the temperature 10-15 degrees. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting it back this for eight hours a day will save you about 10% on your energy bills over the course of a year! If you work eight hours a day, this can be an easy habit to introduce into your daily routine. Lowering your thermostat during the day and at night while you’re asleep can save you even more.
Tip: You’ve probably heard at some point that it’s better to keep your home at an even temperature at all times so your furnace doesn’t have to work too hard to heat it after you lower it for a period. Research tells us differently. You can save a lot of money by lowering your thermostat as we’ve suggested above.
Seal leaks throughout the house.
Check for gaps around the chimney, recessed lighting in ceilings that are insulated in your home, exposed plumbing pipes around the house, under cupboards and in closets. Add insulation, caulk, or weatherstripping where necessary to seal air leaks.
Get your furnace inspected yearly.
In addition to having your annual furnace inspection, make sure to change your furnace filters as often as necessary. Most filters must be changed every one to three months, depending on the type and quality.
Heat your home naturally.
On a sunny day, open your blinds or drapes on any south-facing windows and let in the light! You’ll be surprised how much warmer this can make your home feel. At night, close your blinds and drapes to keep out the chill.
Lock doors and windows.
Locking your doors and windows creates a tighter seal, keeping more warmth inside and cold out, which can help lower your heating bills.
Cut water heating costs.
Save money by lowering your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will also prevent accidental scalding. Water heating accounts for approximately 18% of the total energy the average home consumes. For more money saving tips, read our recent blog post: Keep Your Water Heater Bill Low This Winter with These Tips.
If your attic insulation is damaged or there isn’t enough of it, heat that has risen to the top of your home will escape. It’s very inefficient and could make your heating bills skyrocket. Have your insulation tested to see if it’s adequate or needs an update.
Check ductwork for air leaks.
According to Energy Star, in the average home, 20-30 percent of air that is pushed through a forced air system is lost due to leaks and poorly connected ducts. This makes your home harder and more expensive to heat! Contact an HVAC contractor to inspect your ductwork and fix any issues.
Upgrade to a programmable thermostat.
We talked about adjusting your thermostat already. One easy way to keep your thermostat on schedule is to purchase a programmable one. Today, you can find thermostats that you can adjust from your phone while you’re out of the house and program it to change temperature to complement your custom schedule. Some even are designed to adjust on their own to save you money.
Check heat registers.
Make sure none of the heat registers in your home are covered up with furniture, rugs, etc. This blocks heat flow to your space and can make your home heat unevenly, making it uncomfortable in certain areas. Make sure your vents are completely open in every room as well. While it’s an option to shut these, it can actually damage your ventilation system. If you spend most of your time in one particular area of your home, consider leaving the thermostat set lower and adding a space heater. This will save you money over the winter.
Get a humidifier.
If your home is too dry, it can make you very uncomfortable, even if you crank up the heat! Add a humidifier to your home to add moisture to the air and increase your comfort.
If you need your heating system checked, your thermostat updated, or any appliances repaired or replaced, contact Cyclone Contracting in Ames, your Ames area heating and cooling experts!