Ways To Save Money And Keep Your Home Warm All Winter!
With the average household spending nearly half of their yearly utilities cost on heating and cooling, there are a few quick and inexpensive ways to ensure your home stays warm this winter.
1. Furnace Filters and Heating Vents
Check your furnace filters regularly. Contrary to what many people believe, the primary purpose of a furnace filter is not to clean your air but to prevent dust and debris from getting into the blower fan. That being said, it will help the quality of indoor air by removing such contaminants from being recirculated. We suggest keeping tabs on a monthly basis as dirty filters can drastically reduce your systems ability to work at optimal performance. Typically, furnace filters should be replaced every 3 months or sooner if you notice it is dirty. It is also encouraged to opt for an Energy Star certified furnace model - should you be looking to purchase a new furnace - as certain models can reduce heating costs by 30 percent.
Ensure there is nothing in the way of your heating vents - e.g large furniture, drapes, etc. Objects in the way of your heating vent will prevent the room from reaching the temperature set on the thermostat. It is equally important to make sure they are free from dust and to clean them often. Furnace duct blockage is another concern that may prevent a room from being effectivley heated or cooled. Some of the reasons a duct can become blocked include old filters or filter pieces being blown into the ductwork and butterfly valves inadvertently turning off.
2. Programmable Thermostat
To maximize energy efficiency, a programmable thermostat should not be overlooked as it can cut consumption down by 20 to 30 percent. It allows you to save energy and money by programming your habits and adapting to your life so that during the night time or while you’re away, the thermostat will drop a few degrees. Wi-Fi enabled thermostats even allow you to control the temperature from an app on your smartphone or tablet. This way, your heating and cooling system will work less, and therefore cost you less, but it will still keep you comfortable during the times you need it. It is a great option for those of us who leave the house for long periods of time and forget to adjust the thermostat.
3. Windows and Ceiling Fans
It is always a good idea to make smart use of your windows and use the heat of the sun. Ensure your curtains, drapes or shades are open during the daylight hours and closed during the nighttime, when it is dark and cold outside. Thick, dark curtains ultimately serve an energy savvy purpose as they can help with insulation, discussed in the next point.
During the winter months, run your ceiling fans clockwise at slow speed. As warm air rises, it will help to re-circulate the air from the ceiling, towards the walls and down to the cold spots below.
When it comes to a building’s heat loss or heat gain, windows play a critical role. To prevent any heat transfers in the cooler months, caulking and window stripping are easy to do and a cost effective way of keeping you warm. Curtains certainly help with insulation too. They help to prevent heat from escaping through the window glass and transfer that heat to any cold air entering the building from the window.
What are some of the ways you reduce your heating bills during the winter time? Let us know what works best for you!
Click here for a look at the available heating and cooling rebates!