There are a number of things you can do to cut down on your heating bill when the cold weather hits. They are for the most part fairly simple and easy to do as well. Here are a few tips:
- Put a new air filter in your furnace. If the filter is dirty, it is more difficult for the air to circulate and energy use increases.
- Get your furnace checked out. You want to make sure it is clean, lubricated and properly adjusted. This will save you about five percent of your energy costs.
- Lower hot water temperature. You want to set your water heater to the “normal” mark, which is 120 degrees. This will save you from 7 to 11 percent of your water heating costs. Also, consider placing an insulating blanket around your water heater. Doing so could save you between $20-$45 a year, with a one-time cost of about $30 (the cost of the heater blanket).
- Stop up cracks. Check your windows and doors to see if there are places where cold air is leaking in, and fill the leaks with caulk. Apply weather stripping to doors and windows. Also, check places where pipes, vents or wiring go through walls and see if there are gaps. If you find gaps, seal them up.
- Keep heat registers clear. Make sure the area around the heating vents is clear. Don’t put furniture over them because the furniture will block the flow of hot air into the room.
- Lock your windows. When you lock your windows by turning the latch, you can feel them pushing together more tightly. This may seem like a minor thing, but it does make a difference in your heating bill.
- Turn down the thermostat. Consumer experts recommend 68 degrees and you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save because you can save up to five percent of your heating costs for each degree below 70. If you feel a little chilly, wear a sweater or sweatshirt. Or you can buy a space heater and use it where most of the family usually hangs out. Space heaters use energy, but not as much as when you heat the whole house.
Also, if you go away for a longer period of time, turn your thermostat back to 55 degrees. This will help you save between 5 and 20 percent on your heating costs.
- Other easy fixes:
- Open the drapes and blinds and let the sun come in through the widows.
- Don’t sit near exterior walls.
- Minimize the use of your fireplace. It uses more energy than you might be aware – it sucks heated air up the chimney.
If you’d like your heating system checked before temperatures really plunge in January and February, contact Rescue Air Heating and Cooling at (972) 201-3253. Or, if your heater conks out on you when temperatures cool, we’re here for you.