How to Lower Your Home Heating Costs
6 Tips for Lowering Your Home Heating Costs
There are many lovely things about winter, but one thing that isn’t so lovely is having to deal with expensive heating bills. Because the O’Fallon, MO weather can get quite chilly, many homeowners must have their heating systems running all day and night. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to ensure that your home stays comfortable without your heating bills going through the roof. Here, we’ll examine a few effective tips for keeping your monthly heating costs in check when winter is in full force.
1. Schedule a Professional Tune-Up
At least once per year, you should have your heating system serviced by local professionals. In the greater O’Fallon area, our team at Hoff Heating & AC is always available to handle your heating maintenance. This service offers many benefits, but one of the most significant is improved energy efficiency for your heating system. Our expert technicians will closely inspect your heater and identify anything that could be hampering its performance. They’ll make any necessary adjustments and ensure that none of the components need to be repaired or replaced. Our team will also clean the accumulated dirt and dust from the appliance, which will allow it to circulate air more smoothly and efficiently.
In addition to reducing your monthly heating costs, scheduling maintenance every year will improve the overall health of your heating system. It will also help keep your indoor air clean, make your home more comfortable, and increase your heating unit’s life expectancy.
2. Have Your Air Ducts Cleaned
To maximize your heating system’s efficiency, it’s important to have your air ducts cleaned at least once every few years. Otherwise, numerous debris will build up inside the ducts, including hair, dust mites, pollen, and dander. In addition to worsening your indoor air quality, these pollutants can block your heater from distributing warm air around the house. Furnaces and other HVC appliances are designed to work in an unhampered air distribution system. By keeping your air ducts clean, these units can run closer to their optimal efficiency.
Professional duct cleaning has many major benefits. The service will clear out the pathways for your HVAC system to do its job efficiently. Duct cleaning will also improve the comfort of your living space by eliminating unpleasant odors. In addition, during the cleaning process, the professional you hired will inspect your ducts. They will find any leaks or other issues that may be reducing the efficiency of your system. If they find an issue, the HVAC technician will offer you some solutions to fix the problem.
3. Switch Out the Air Filter
For your heating system to remain efficient, its air filter needs to be consistently clean. But, if you don’t switch its filter out regularly, it will inevitably become packed with debris. When that happens, the appliance has to work much harder to pull air through the clogged filter, which results in wasted energy and an increased likelihood of mechanical problems. Plus, since the filter no longer has space for contaminant particles, you may end up with more pollutants in the air you breathe.
There are several variables that determine how often you need to replace your furnace’s air filter. These include the size of your home, the number of occupants, and how often you’re using the appliance. On average, though, you shouldn’t use an air filter for more than two or three months without switching out for a new, clean one. If you have pets or household members with respiratory issues, you may need to switch filters out more often. Experts recommend inspecting the air filter once a month so you can determine how often they need to be changed. During the holidays, for example, you may have more people and activities in your house, which may cause air filters to become dirtier quicker. It is relatively easy to tell when a filter needs to be replaced; if it looks like it could be clogged, it probably is and needs to be changed out.
4. Invest in Quality Attic Insulation
During the freezing O’Fallon winter, having reliable attic insulation is crucial for keeping your home comfortable and energy-efficient. Without quality insulation, much of the warmth generated by your heating system will naturally rise to the top of your household. Up there, it won’t be keeping you or your family warm, and much of it may even leak through the roof. An indication of poor attic insulation is icicles hanging from the edges of your roof. Icicles can form when heat rising from a poorly insulated home melts the underside of the snow on your roof. The water drains under the snow and moves towards the perimeters of your roof, and freezes.
Heat loss through your attic forces your heating system to cycle for significantly longer to heat your dwelling sufficiently; otherwise, the temperature will never reach a comfortable level. To remedy this issue, consider having insulation installed in your attic. You’ll need to hire professionals to install it, but you should see an improvement in your comfort and heating bills because your home will be more efficient at retaining heat, reducing the burden on your heater.
5. Eliminate Air Leaks
The fewer air leaks there are around your home, the easier it will be for your heating system to operate efficiently. However, when there are many gaps around the edges of your windows and doorways, they allow a significant amount of the warm air in your home to escape. This not only increases your monthly heating costs but also puts extra strain on your heating system’s components. As a result, the appliance becomes more susceptible to equipment problems, and its life expectancy becomes shorter. If you want to stay comfortable throughout the winter and keep your heater running efficiently, you should periodically inspect your household for air leaks. If you find any, you should seal them using caulking and weather stripping, both of which are available from any hardware store. Alternatively, you could hire a professional to do a whole home insulation inspection. Not only will they inspect the windows, doors, and attic, but they may make other suggestions, like installing an insulated garage door or wrapping hot water pipes to improve your home’s heating efficiency.
6. Purchase a Smart Thermostat
If you don’t already have a smart thermostat in your home, you may want to consider investing in one. These days, thermostat technology is quite advanced, and modern devices can greatly improve your home’s efficiency and comfort. Smart thermostats allow you to program in your ideal climate as well as your daily schedule. So, during the winter, your heating system will only run when it’s truly necessary for the comfort of your household. Plus, you can set the thermostat to automatically reduce the set point of your thermostat at specific times, like when you leave for work each day or go to bed each night. Modern thermostats can also track your home’s energy usage and provide you with lots of useful data. That way, you can track the way you’re using your HVAC system and figure out when you might be wasting energy. Then, you have a clear route to improving your habits and saving more energy in the future.
Contact the Pros
Since we opened our doors in 1983 at Hoff Heating & AC, we have been dedicated to serving residents of O’Fallon, MO and the surrounding area.
We provide heating and cooling system installation, repair, and maintenance. In addition, we offer air quality, ventilation, and new construction services. Over the years, we’ve developed a reputation for integrity, professionalism, and exceptional customer service, and you’ll see those values firsthand when you work with us. If you want to learn more about what we offer or schedule an appointment, give us a call at Hoff Heating & AC today!