Lowering the Heat Cost in your Home
The average winter heating bill in Virginia is just over $100 a month. While saving a few dollars here and there may not seem like much, it all adds up. Knowing how to lower the cost to heat your home can be beneficial in many ways. Not only do you save money, you can also reduce your impact on the environment and you can make your home more cozy during the colder months. To save on your furnace maintenance and repair, here are some great DIY tips to follow this winter:
- Replace your HVAC filter – One of the easiest things you can do (all year round) to improve your HVACs efficiency is to replace the filter as needed. Depending on the quality filters should be changed every 3 or more months. If you have allergies, pets, or are a smoker, you should change it more often. Filters are easy to change and you can sign up for a delivery subscription so you don’t have to keep track. When the filter gets delivered, you know it’s time for a change.
- Reverse your ceiling fans – Another super easy thing you can do is to flip the switch on your ceiling fans so that it rotates clockwise. Clockwise rotations create an updraft that recirculates heated air. In the summer switch it back – the counterclockwise rotation pushes air down, creating a wind chill to cool you.
- Turn down the thermostat – Over an 8 hour period, for every degree you lower the temperature, you can save up to 1% on your heating bill. If you are leaving for the day, turning the thermostat down a few degrees is easy, since no one will be there. If you are home all day, put on an extra layer, and consider investing in some warm socks. You can also turn the thermostat down 1 or 2 degrees at bedtime – just use an extra blanket.
- Install a smart thermostat – It’s never a bad time to invest in a smart thermostat. Most models are user friendly and connect to a smart phone so you have control even when you’re not at home. If you set the thermostat a few degrees lower while you’re at work, you can turn the heat back up on the way home so you don’t walk into a cold house. Another benefit is the habit tracking feature. The thermostat records every change you make. So if you have a habit of turning the thermostat down at 9 pm every night, the thermostat will pick up on that and do it even when you forget.
- Mind the gap – Check your windows and doors for gaps that allow cold air in and heated air out. Add or improve insulation in areas that feel drafty. Simple fixes as door draft blockers slide ride onto the bottom of most doors. There are also many different styles of window draft blockers on the market.
- Service your HVAC -Every fall, before turning on the heat, you should schedule a service appointment with a certified HVAC specialist. This ensures that your system is operating efficiently and there aren’t any big problems. By having a yearly check up, you will extend the life of your system and save money by fixing small issues before they become big problems.
- Go LED – During the holidays, switching to LED lights will save you a lot of money. You should switch all of your lighting to LED, not just holiday decor. According to the Department of Energy, LED lights use 75% less energy than incandescent lights, and last up to 25 times longer.
- Use your curtains wisely – Upgrading your curtains to a heavier style can help you sleep later by blocking sunlight, and can help your home stay cozy by keeping heat from leaking through cracks. Open the curtains during sunny parts of the day to allow sunlight to naturally warm your home and get some much-needed vitamin D.
There are quite a few tricks to help with heating your home in the colder months, many of which you can do yourself. For more tips, advice, or to schedule HVAC service, give Weather Crafters a call today!