7 Things You Can Do in the Next 30 Minutes to Lower Your Heating Bill this Winter
During these cold winter months, when heaters and furnaces are working overtime and heating oil / natural gas prices are at their peaks, everyone’s looking for a way to conserve energy and save money on their heating bills. Well, do you have 30 minutes? If you do, below is a list of 7 things you can do in the next half hour at your house to reduce your heating costs for the rest of the winter.
Ready? Let’s get going!
First, let’s start with the obvious…
1) Bundle Up and Lower the Thermostat
Obviously, the less heat you use, the lower your bill will be. Go throw on an extra layer of clothing, such as a fleece or sweater, put on that nice pair of wool socks, and lower the thermostat by a few degrees while you’re at home.
Next, let’s adjust the window coverings.
2) Open or Close Your Curtains/Blinds
The time of day you’re reading this will determine what you want to do. If it’s daytime out right now, and especially if you have windows with a southern exposure, open the blinds or curtains to let in the sunlight and the radiant heat. If it’s night time, close the blinds to keep in the heat that’s already in your house.
Feel better? Good, now head over to the living room and…
2) Close the Flue to your Fireplace
Everyone knows that heat rises, and if your fireplace flue is open, your chimney is pulling heat out of your house like a giant heat-sucking vaccuum! Close that flue and keep more of the warm air down in the house where you can enjoy it.
And speaking of rising heat, another simple thing you can do is…
3) Set Ceiling Fans to Spin in a Clockwise Direction
Setting your ceiling fan to spin in a clockwise direction will blow the rising hot air in the room back to ground level. You can change the direction of the fan by adjusting the black toggle switch on the hub. Just make sure you flip the switch back to the counter-clockwise direction when you’re ready for the fan to cool the room in the spring and summerl
After adjusting your ceiling fan, you’re going to want to…
4) Lower the Temperature on Your Hot Water Heater
Your hot water heater can account for as much as 25% of your home’s energy usage. Lowering the hot water heater to a temperature of 115 – 120 degrees provides plenty of hot water for showers and baths and can make a noticeable drop in your heating bill. A drop of ten degrees can reduce your energy costs by 3 – 5%!
5) Lower Your Thermostat at Night and While You’re Out of the House
Program your thermostat to lower itself during the times when you’re out of the house and while you’re sleeping at night. According to the US Department of Energy, you can knock 10% off your heating bill by finding a way to lower your thermostat by 10 – 15 degrees for 8 hours a day.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, consider upgrading to one. The average cost is anywhere from $30 to $100 for a new one, we can install it for you as part of our Heater Tune Up.
6) Check for Drafts
Two ways to test for leaks: First, do a simple visual test. If you see daylight around windows or doors, you’re definitely losing heat through those gaps. If the gap is at the bottom of an exterior door, it may have an adjustable threshold that can be raised or lowered by loosening or tightening the screw that holds the threshold down. Just be careful not to raise the threshold so high that the door won’t close. Otherwise, make a note to grab weather stripping the next time you go to the store.
Other places to check for gaps are around windows and electrical outlets. A simple way to test these is to light a candle and move it around the edge of your windows or near your electrical outlets. If the smoke from the candle starts blowing sideways instead of rising straight up, you’ve got a draft coming in.
Depending on the gap, you can fill it in with weather stripping, caulk, or low expansion window foam. If you don’t have any on hand, start a shopping list now and pick some up on your next trip to the store.
7) Call Comfort Experts to do a Cool / Heat Loss Analysis on Your Home.
If you really want to know if you’re getting the most bang for your energy buck, give us a call at Comfort Experts. Our Heater Tune Up will guarantee that your system runs as efficiently and safely as possible. We can also conduct a free energy audit as well so you’ll know if any appliances are creating an unnecessary drain on your energy. You can reach us at 817-AC-GENIUS / (817) 224-3648 or contact us online. We’re open 24 / 7 and are waiting to take your call.
Money image courtesy of luigi diamanti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Candle image courtesy of foto76 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ceiling fan image courtesy of FrameAngel / FreeDigitalPhotos.net