For many people, winter is a time of high energy bills – especially if you have an older furnace or boiler (if your heating system is more than 10-12 years old or so, it’s worth considering an upgrade – today’s models are much more efficient and would likely pay for themselves in just a couple of years).
But there’s a limit to how much energy even the best equipment can save you: to maximize heating value in your home, you need to adopt some smarter habits.
Here are seven inexpensive ways to help you save energy this winter.
Use your programmable thermostat – Dropping your home’s temperature by seven or eight degrees when you’re not home or sleeping can shave 5-10 percent off your energy bill.
Weatherize – You wouldn’t leave a window open all winter, would you? That’s about the equivalent of what most American homes leak via gaps around exterior doors and windows and through under-insulated walls. For a minimal investment in caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps and insulation, you can cut down those leaks considerably.
Clean and change furnace filters – Clogged filters will make your furnace overwork to keep your family warm – which means you’ll pay more to heat your home and run the risk of a premature repair or even a breakdown.
Insulate exposed pipes – You can minimize heat loss from you water heater by insulating hot water pipes in untreated areas of your home (attics, basements, and crawl spaces).
Use the sun to your advantage – Keep sun-facing windows uncovered to absorb “free” heat during the day – just make sure to cover them to keep that heat from escaping at night.
Close your fireplace flue when not in use – An open fireplace damper loses as much heat as an open window; close it when not in use.
Keep heating elements clear – Obstructions such as furniture, drapery and rugs can block baseboard heaters and heat registers; make sure to keep them clear so heat can reach your living space.
Stay warm and be smart this winter – call Walton for heating service or for a FREE estimate on a new heating system for your home!