How to Cut Down Your Winter Heating Bill
One particular part of winter that you may not be looking forward to is receiving your heating bills. Unlike summer, where air conditioning is optional, in the wintertime, you need to have heat to keep your family healthy and your home safe from harm. Fortunately, there are many different strategies you can use to help lower your energy bills this winter season.
We all know that heat rises to the top of a room. Getting that heat back down toward the floor where you and your family are going to be is the key to saving energy and money. Ceiling fans are the perfect solution as they help force the hot air from the top of your room down toward the floor. All you need to do is simply change the direction of your ceiling fan blades to rotate in a clockwise direction. This is easily done by flipping the switch that’s typically on the base of the fan.
Let the Sun In
One extremely important free source of heat is the sun. If you’ve ever sat in a room where the sun comes directly into the window, you know that it can heat up your room very quickly. You can use that to your advantage to help heat up the rooms around your home without having to turn on your heating system. Any windows or doors that currently have blinds or curtains on them should be opened up as soon as the sun comes out to allow heat to enter your home.
The absolute best strategy for drastically reducing your heating bills in the wintertime is to use a programmable thermostat. These allow you to set different desired temperatures depending on the time of day that it is. Whenever your family leaves home to go to work or school, you can turn the temperature setting down by 10 degrees. This will help prevent your heating system from kicking on
Seal Up Your Ducting
Once your furnace heats the air, it’s forced through the various ducting that runs throughout your home. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for your ducting to develop leaks over time. Even the smallest of leaks can allow that nicely heated air to easily escape into your wall cavities. It may be surprising to learn just how much of your heat escapes into your wall cavities instead of the rooms of your home.
To remedy this problem, you’ll need to seal up the ductwork that runs throughout your home. In areas of your house where the ducting is exposed, like the basement, you can easily use foil tape that is specifically designed for your ventilation system. In areas of your home where the ducting is not exposed, you can call in an HVAC professional to seal up those sections to prevent unnecessary heat loss. The more effective your ducting is at keeping heated air in, the less you’re going to have to run your heating system to feel comfortable inside of your home.
Prepare for the Cold
It can be very easy to get used to lounging around your house in a pair of shorts and a T-shirt during the summer months. However, as we transition into the fall months, it’s important that you prepare for the cold weather. Instead of wearing shorts, swap them out for pajama pants and a long-sleeve shirt. Consider laying out warm blankets on your sofa and easy chair.
When it comes to your bed, swap out those cotton sheets for flannel ones that will keep you warmer during the cold winter nights. By actively preparing various areas of your home to allow you to be more comfortable in a cooler environment, you can get away with running your heating system less.
Routinely Replace Your Filter
A very important part of your heating system is the air filter. This helps to collect unwanted airborne debris inside of your home and boosts your indoor air quality. Unfortunately, whenever your air filter reaches the end of its lifespan, it is completely clogged with debris. This causes your heating system to have to work harder to force air through the clogged filter.
To prevent your system from overworking due to a clogged filter, it’s best to set up a routine schedule for changing out your filters. Most HVAC professionals recommend changing the air filter every couple of months. It’s best to pull out the filter once a month to see if it’s in need of replacement. A general rule of thumb is that you should hold the air filter up to a light source and try to see through it. If you’re not able to see through the filter, it’s time to replace it.
Insulation can be a big game-changer when it comes to saving on your wintertime energy bills. Insulation is meant to act as a physical barrier between the inside of your home and the outside. It’s responsible for helping to keep the warm air inside of your home and the cold air out.
If you do not have adequate insulation throughout your home, the cold air could be seeping inside and reducing the efficiency of your heating system. It’s best to take a look at what your insulation value is in the attic. If it’s less than the recommended R-value for your region of the country, it’s highly advisable that you purchase additional insulation to at least equal the necessary R-value for your area.
Get an Energy Audit
One of the best things that you can do to help save money on your wintertime heating bills is to get an energy audit by a professional. This audit will help to reveal specific areas of your home that are losing heat. These areas are identified via a special tool called a thermal meter used by a skilled technician to pinpoint where your home is in need of help. When you’re able to understand the exact points of where heat loss is, you can easily come up with a plan to remedy those areas quickly.
Upgrade Your Heating System
If your heating system is currently over 10 years old, it’s likely time for an upgrade. Every year, heating systems are being released with many new energy-efficiency features. You can take advantage of these new technologies and features when you upgrade your old system to a new one. It’s best to consult an HVAC professional to ensure that you get a system that is the perfect size for your home and has the necessary features that you need.
Purchase Fuel Early
If your current heating system runs on gas, oil, or propane, it’s a good idea to consider purchasing your fuel ahead of time. It’s no surprise to any homeowner that the price of fuel increases in the wintertime when demand is high. By purchasing your product early, you can avoid those high prices. In addition, many fuel providers will allow you to sign up for a loyalty program where you can prepay for fuel at a set rate. This means that you won’t have to worry about increasing fuel costs during the winter months.
Dedicated Heating Service
Hoff Heating & AC is your dedicated heating professional serving the O’Fallon area. We’re here for all of your heating and cooling needs, including those related to geothermal systems. Just give us a call today to set up your next appointment.