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!