Lower Costs, Raise Your Comfort
Winter is coming, and there’s a good chance that heating bills will rise again this year.
The good news is that you don’t have to be freezing or uncomfortable to reduce your monthly costs. In fact, a few simple changes and some careful preparation is all it takes to keep your home cost-effectively heated. Here are five easy adjustments you can start making today to lower your heating bills this winter season.
1. Bundle Up
Though it can be tempting to shed the sweatshirt when you get home, dressing for warmth indoors as well as outdoors is really a great way to save some cash. Though you shouldn’t be watching television in a pair of gloves, stocking up on some extra layers could allow you to turn down your thermostat by a few degrees and reduce your heating costs significantly.
You can also help your home bundle up by fitting heavy, heat-maintaining curtains over your windows.
2. Adjust Your Thermostat
The numbers on your thermostat can have a huge impact on the figures in your energy bills. Space heating accounts for over 40% of the average household’s energy consumption, and turning down your thermostat is one of the simplest ways to save money on your heating bill.
Dropping your thermostat by a single degree can knock as much as 5% off your bill, so it’s worth the sacrifice. You might even consider investing in a programmable thermostat that makes it easier for you to maintain the right temperatures throughout the day. For instance, you could lower the heating at midday when the sun is at its strongest and at times when no one is home.
Consider turning down the settings on your water heater, too, as water can account for up to 18% of the energy consumed at home.
3. Upgrade Your Insulation
About a third of the heat lost in a property disappears through uninsulated walls, while a quarter goes through the roof. While upgrading the insulation in your home might seem like a significant investment to make, it can offer substantial savings for many cold seasons to come.
Go up into your attic and make sure that you have 10 to 14 inches of insulation for the best results. Remember, before you lay new insulation around your home, you’ll need to make sure that you seal any openings around the floors and windows where energy might escape.
4. Destroy Any Drafts
Reducing drafts could account for energy savings of as much as 30%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. While you’re checking your insulation, make sure you’re examining all the common drafty spots where you might lose heat, such as switchplates, electrical outlets, weather stripping around the doors, and attic hatches. You can either conduct a visual inspection or try using a candle to check for gusts that disturb the flame.
Once you’ve found drafty spaces throughout your property, you can easily invest in some caulk to place around your door frames, or weather-stripping for the windows and entryways that don’t close tightly.
5. Maintain Your Heating System
One of the most important things you can do to maximize indoor comfort and cost-saving this winter is to prepare your HVAC system. Take the time to replace your filters at least once a month, or as needed. Damaged or dirty filters can easily stop a heating system from working as it should.
A professional inspection will also ensure that you’re aware of any problems with your system before it’s too late to make repairs. The last thing you want is to be stuck in the dead of winter with a heating system that doesn’t work.
Staying warm this winter doesn’t have to drain your resources or become a challenge. Contact Bob Jenson Air Conditioning & Heating today to schedule an inspection with one of our experts and get prepared for the colder months.
For over 45 years, Bob Jenson has been providing quality heating and air services to the San Diego community.
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