How to Keep Heating Costs Down this Winter
Your wallet does not have to be extra skinny this season, as there are things you can do to keep heating costs down this winter.
Heating your home typically makes up about 29% of your utility bill and consumes the most energy, of all things, in your home. While winter may officially begin this month, it shouldn’t mean that your energy expenses go way up. You have enough to worry about during this time of the year, and the last thing you should have to face is an over-the-top heating bill. Regardless if you have a gas or electric furnace or a boiler, there are things you can do to keep heating costs down this winter. We likely now have your attention, so let’s get to it.
How to Keep Heating Costs Down this Winter
Saving money on your heating costs this winter, doesn’t just come down to replacing your old furnace with a new energy efficient one. While having a heater that is energy efficient will help, it alone will not have as great of an impact on your savings as it would combined with other things. So, what can you do to keep heating costs down this winter?
Ensure you have an energy efficient heater. While this alone will not provide you maximum savings, as mentioned above, it will save you money. There is value in energy efficient heaters. The more efficient your furnace is, the less money you’ll spend heating your home. If your heating unit is past its prime, it can cost you. The average heater has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Furnace efficiency can decline by about 5% each year without proper upkeep.
Keep your thermostat down. During the winter months, you should set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable and decrease the set point when you’re sleeping or away from home. You can save at minimal 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by having a programmable thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests keeping the temperature no higher than 68°F during the colder months of the year, and lowering that by at least 10 degrees while you sleep or are away.
Clean and replace your air filters at least once a month. Having clean air filters offer many benefits not only for your family’s health and the longevity of your HVAC system, but it can also help to keep heating costs down. An obstructed or dirty air filter in your Buffalo, New York home affects the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. A grungy filter can impede the air flow of your system. According to the Department of Energy, a dirty air filter can increase energy costs by up to 15%.
Make sure any vents, registers, baseboard heaters, and/or radiators are unobstructed. Regardless as to what type of heating system you have, wherever that heat is trying to get out to warm your home, should not be covered. If you have furniture, carpeting, drapes, or something else blocking where the heat is trying to enter your home, your heating system will need to work harder to heat your home, and it will cost you.
Embrace window treatments and natural sunlight and warmth. One of the easiest things you can do, to keep heating costs down this winter, is to open your curtains and blinds during the daytime to embrace solar heat. Naturally heat your home by opening the curtains of south-facing windows during the day to allow the sunlight in. Be sure to close all window coverings at night to reduce the chill and heat loss. Closing the curtains during the winter nights helps reduce up to 10% in heat loss.
Seal any drafts or air leaks. Gaps or leaks throughout your home can allow heat to escape. Over 30% of a typical home’s heat loss occurs through windows and doors. Air can also leak into or out of the house through the cracks and gaps inside your home, such as electrical outlets, baseboards, and attic hatches. Seal around openings to make your home less drafty and to keep the warm air inside. Make sure all of your windows are locked, as that will help to produce a tighter seal and allow less cold air in and hot air out. Caulking air leaks can save an average household 10% to 20% on annual heating and cooling bills. Weather-stripping your windows can save you an additional 5% to 10% annually.
By combining proper HVAC maintenance and an energy efficient heating system, sealing around your home, opening and closing curtains at the right times, maintaining a clean air filter, and thermostat settings, you can save about 30% on your energy bill (Energy.gov). Your wallet does not have to be extra skinny this season, as there are things you can do to keep heating costs down this winter.
We fix, service, and replace furnaces and boilers here in Buffalo and Western New York. Since 1921, local homeowners have trusted Reimer with their home’s heating service needs. We don’t charge our customers extra for service on nights or weekends. Plus, all of our repairs come backed by our 2-year warranty.