Winter is practically here, and that means your energy bills could start rising as the temperatures drop into lower numbers. These tips will help you keep your energy costs down while ensuring that your home stays comfortable, even during the coldest time of the year.
Make sure that your home is totally draft free.
Drafts can cause a lot of cold air to come in as well as allowing warm air to leak out. If you don’t want to hire an inspector, you can check for drafts yourself by slowly running an incense stick around exterior doors, windows, and even outlets. If you notice the smoke moving from the incense stick, you’ve probably got a draft. Locate the exact source of the draft and then seal with caulking. Simply caulking around windows, doors, and outlets can be a very effective way to prevent energy loss in a subtle way. Also, be mindful of drafts coming from the bottoms of exterior doors, and either purchase a few draft stoppers or make your own with an easy DIY tutorial!
If you still have a traditional manual thermostat, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat.
These days, there are many innovative versions of programmable thermostats, but the most valuable feature they offer is the ability to adjust your home’s temperature during different times of the day. By reducing the temperature setting on your thermostat for 8 hours every day or night, you can significantly reduce your energy costs. It is estimated that for every degree you lower your thermostat, you can save up to 5% in energy costs. With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature to decrease during the hours you are sleeping or at work. Or do both for an extra bit of savings, and only run the thermostat at 72 degrees while you are awake and at home.
If your water heater isn’t currently insulated, consider purchasing a water heater insulation blanket.
Water heaters can lose a great deal of heat with warmth escaping through the outer walls of the unit. Prevent this energy loss by wrapping the unit in a blanket and watch your energy bills drop. These types of insulators can be purchased online or at many home improvement and handyman stores.
Keep in mind: Insulation blankets are not recommended for new energy efficient water heaters that are already insulated between the outside shell and the water tank. Refer to the water heater’s manufacturing label to find out how much insulation your water heater already contains before adding additional insulation.
Let the sun provide your home with free heat.
Use those south facing windows to you and your energy bill’s advantage. By opening up blinds on windows and allowing the sun to shine in, you can add a significant amount of warmth to a room. And, since your home will be a touch warmer, your heating system won’t need to work as hard to keep the air in your home at a comfortable temperature.
Are you looking for more ways to save on HVAC costs in the new year? Contact us today to find out how we can help optimize your HVAC system.