There is some good news and bad news if you are a homeowner who is bracing yourself for the yearly rise in winter heating costs. The good news is that if you utilize some of the hints below, your heating bill is likely to decrease. The bad news is if you do not utilize at least a few of these hints, your heating bill is guaranteed to increase.
Read the tips below and decide for yourself.
Your Heating Bill and Air Gaps
• Turn down your thermostat. The rule is that you could save nearly 3% on your monthly heating bill for every single degree that you turn the thermostat down. Turn down the thermostat at least 8 – 10 degrees when you leave for work. Turn it back down again when you and your family go to bed at night. This could save you nearly 14% on your heating bill.
• Use your area fans wisely. In one hour, a good bathroom, kitchen or other fan can remove a houseful of warm air. So, remember to turn off exhaust fans as soon as they have done their job.
• Remember to keep the fireplaces’ damper closed. Heat rises, and when the damper is left open it is like huge hole in the roof. So, limit use of your fireplace, since the fire actually pulls heat from a room. Close off rooms that are rarely used.
• Turn down the temperature on the water heater. By lowering the temperature of the water heater to 115-120 degrees you can reduce power use usually without any noticeable change to the user.
• Keep the heating vents in all rooms clear. Vents that are blocked by area rugs and furniture will prevent the heated air from properly circulating efficiently throughout the rooms.
• Use curtains. Try to open the curtains or shades on any southern windows during the day. This will allow the solar radiation to warm the living area. But remember to close all curtains at night help stop the escape of that heat.
So you have put in place the easiest and free ideas on saving money on your heating bill. Now you can really put a dent in your heating bill with one trip to the hardware store and with just a few hours of work.
The gaps that surround the windows, doors and other areas in the house are usually pretty small, but if you add them all together they can take up a huge space. Plugging the gaps can save you up to 10% on your heating bill and the extra money you spent on the materials for sealing the gaps will pay for themselves within a year.
First you have to find the gaps. So, on a windy day, hold something that will smoke up to the most common drafty areas around your house. The chimney flashing, any recessed lighting, the window sills, and door frames are typically drafty areas plus all ducts and flues and electrical outlets.
Buy caulk ($2-$5 per roll, plus a $10 caulk gun) or a special tacky rope caulk to help stop the drafty gaps around the window frames. Apply a typical weather stripping ($3-$6 for up to 17 feet) to any of the movable joints. Outlet gaskets ($10 for 10) are easy to install in electrical outlets in a home’s outer walls too.
You now have these tips to help keep your home sealed for the winter and warm and cozy inside. If you have any questions about any of these tips or need help with getting these tasked completed, give Heating Cooling Chapel Hill a call today. We are happy to help you prepare your home for winter.
To learn more about energy saving tips and how to implement them visit energy.gov.