How to Keep Heat (and Cash), In Your Home This Winter
With winter here to stay for a few more months, it seems that now is as good a time as any to talk about ways to can keep monthly heating expenses at a minimum. Undoubtedly, all the necessary heating equipment is already in your home so, it’s time to put it to more efficient use.
Generally, the heating and cooling bill in a home will add up to more than half of the home’s energy consumption. Fortunately, there are ways that you can dramatically reduce this expense starting right now.
The first thing that most people skip over is making sure that insulation in your home is up to par. Think of insulation as a warm winter jacket for your home. You wouldn’t go outside in freezing temperatures with just a windbreaker on; you would bundle up, and your home should do the same! By making sure that your home is well insulated you can save up to 30% on your monthly bill!
The next tip requires a little bit of self-discipline but can pay off big in the end. By adjusting your thermostat to be around 12 degrees cooler for the eight hours of the day you are at work, you can save between 10 and 20 percent on your winter heating bill. For convenience, invest in a “smart” thermostat that can be set to self adjust for those times you are gone.
Now, let’s talk water heating. Most water heaters are pre-set to maintain a 140 degree water temperature, which is a precise way of saying scalding hot. Setting the temperature as close to 120 degrees as possible will yield about 8 percent in savings each month, but you can increase your savings even more by insulating the heater and hot water pipes.
The last tip is probably the most obvious of them all. We all know heat floats one way, and that’s up. If you have a chimney that is not winterized then your money could be floating away with it. Place your hand inside the flue and if you feel a draft then you have a problem. Retrofitting your fireplace can cost an arm and a leg so, explore options like glass fireplace doors to seal in the heat at low cost. The small investment could save you an additional 2 percent each month.
Putting all of these suggestions into practice can pay off big in the end and keep money where you want it- in your pocket!
Author: Ashley Chandler with Sedgwick Heating, an HVAC contractor located in Minneapolis, MN
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