How to Save Money and Your Furnace This Winter
With temperatures dropping and staying consistently low this time of year, your furnace is likely getting a workout. More run time for your furnace means higher monthly heating bills.
If your energy bill seems to spike in colder months, you're not alone. According to the Department of Energy, heating makes up 45 percent of energy bills in the country. It's the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home.
However, there are ways to keep heating costs affordable without sacrificing comfort. Here's how you can save more money on heating costs and also save your furnace from working overtime this winter.
Check your windows
Windows have a lot to do with heat gain and heat loss. According to energy.gov, this back-and-forth of heat entering and exiting the home through windows is responsible for about 25 to 30 percent of heating and cooling energy use in homes.
When it comes to windows in winter, the main concern is limiting how much heat is lost. Try to locate and cover any drafty windows that might be losing heat from inside your home.
Energy.gov recommends the following solutions for covering drafty windows:
- Use heavy-duty, clear plastic sheets on window frames or tape clear plastic film inside of the frames when the temperatures drop. Seal the plastic tightly.
- Put up tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on drafty windows. You can do this after you've covered the windows with plastic.
Heat can be lost through windows during the winter, but you can gain heat through them this time of year, too. If the windows aren't drafty, open up the curtains or blinds of your home or building's south-facing windows when the sun is out or is lower in the sky. The light entering your home will help provide some heat.
It may not seem like much, but this is a simple, easy thing you can do to add a little heat to your home. And every little bit of heat helps your furnace run less. Plus, who doesn't love more natural lighting?
Look for air leaks
Cold air can enter the home from areas other than windows, too. Any kind of gap in the building that separates the elements from warmer areas of the home can lead to heat loss. According to Houselogic, air leaks cost the average family loses about $350 on air that leaks into and out of the house.
Houselogic.com has a list of places you should check for air leaks and how to fix or fill them. Common places to check include recessed lights, flues, chimneys, attic access doors, gaps in the basement above ground level and, of course, windows and doors.
Other places to look, according to Energy Star, include behind knee walls, wiring holes and plumbing vents and where the foundation of the home connects to the wood framing. If you're handy, there's a good DIY guide (PDF) from Energy Star and the Environmental Protection Agency for that has a lot of information, step-by-step guides and recommendations for dealing with air leaks around your home.
Remember to change your air filter
Here's another very easy tip. You should always remember to change your air filter, but it's especially important when your furnace could be working more to keep your home warm.
Energy Star recommends checking your filter every month to see if it's dirty and needs replacing. Clean filters help air flow through your home. They also help your system not work as hard to heat your home. Replacing air filters also prevents dust and dirt from building up in the equipment, which can lead to expensive repairs.
By changing your air filter regularly, you'll also save money on heating costs. You can save 5 to 15 percent on those costs per year if you stay on top of your air filter, according to Angie's List.
Save money by adjusting the thermostat
Experiment a little with your thermostat. When you're home during the day, find a temperature that's as low as comfortable. Then, at night, you can lower it even more. Over time, this could save you some money on heating costs.
If you're heating a business, try the same tactic. Find a temperature that's lower but comfortable during open hours, then lower the temperature even more during closed hours or when nobody is there.
If you've got a programmable thermostat, then all you have to do is program the temperatures and times and you're good to go. No need to remember to adjust the thermostat.
As a Honeywell equipment provider, Comfortec offers customers the opportunity to install the Total Connect Comfort and Home apps, which brings out the best in your Honeywell Wi-Fi thermostat.
One of the many features these apps provide is the convenient ability to control thermostats from your phone or tablet.
Schedule a service to keep your furnace running at its best
Like vehicles, furnaces should be serviced. Energy.gov has an extensive list of maintenance items for all types of furnace systems that should be handled by a professional.
Just like a car mechanic, it takes experts to make sure your furnace is running like it should. Comfortec's heating professionals are trained and licensed to help you out in these scenarios. Whether there's no heat at all or an odd noise is coming from your equipment, we can help.
We'll make sure the job gets handled fast and is done the right way. We also provide emergency service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Contact Comfortec for all your heating needs this winter
The harder your furnace has to work in the winter, the higher your bill is going to be each month. Hopefully, these tips can help keep your house warm without needing to pay more.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with us if your furnace seems to be struggling to keep up this winter. Either give us a call toll free at 888-362-2106 or contact us online. One of our trained and licensed professionals will quickly be on their way to help you get your furnace working as it should.
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