But even the best equipment has a limit to how much money it can save you: much of your heating system performance comes down to just making smarter choices at home. Here are seven cost-effective ways to save energy this winter.
Program your thermostat – A programmable thermostat makes it easy to lower temperatures when you’re asleep, or when no one is home. By dropping temperatures a 7 to 10° for eight hours a day, you could save 10 percent or more on your energy bill.
Seal air leaks – The average U.S. home leaks the equivalent of a window’s worth of air through spaces around windows and doors and through the walls. For a minimal investment in caulk, weather stripping and door sweeps, you can reduce drafts and keep the warm air where it belongs: in your living space.
Change air filters regularly – If you have a forced air system (one with a furnace and vents, rather than a boiler and baseboards), make sure to check your air filters at least once a month during heating season. Running your system with clogged air filters won’t just raise your energy bills, it will increase your chances of needing to major heating repair.
Reverse your ceiling fans – It doesn’t seem to make sense using fans to make your house warmer, but trust us, it works – as long as your ceiling fans are pushing rising warm air back down into the room. See your fan’s instructions for reversing the direction of your ceiling fan.
Take advantage of the sun’s heat – Keep curtains and blinds open in sun-facing rooms during the day, then close them at night to keep that warmed air in.
Close your fireplace damper when you’re not using it – An open fireplace damper loses as much heat as an open window; close it when you’re not using your fireplace.
Don’t block vents and radiators or baseboards – Keep furniture, drapery or rugs away from heat sources so hot air can flow more easily into the room.
Replace old equipment with high efficiency upgrades – On average, heating equipment loses about five percent efficiency every year that it’s not professionally maintained. Some older units could be operating at efficiencies reaching into the 60 percent range – a far cry from the 90+ percent of today’s home heating systems. If your equipment is 12 to 15 years old or more, contact us to talk about replacement heating system options – the upgrade could pay for itself in energy savings within a few short years.