Heating and cooling costs can be among your business or home’s most expensive bills. Whether you’re looking to cut back on your carbon footprint or just want to save some money, there are several easy steps you can take to dramatically decrease wasted energy (and money)!
Here are 6 simple ways to promote energy savings and cut costs in your home this fall and winter:
Adjust the thermostat
By turning your thermostat down 10-15 degrees for 8 hours, you can save about 10% per year on your heating bills. If this seems too chilly, consider investing in a warm comforter, flannel sheets, or a thick pair of socks while you sleep. Accessorize your living room with throw blankets for extra warmth and area rugs for supplemental floor insulation.
One of the easiest measures you can take to prevent heat loss is to identify leaks and seal them up. Start with cheap and easy foam weather stripping or caulk around windows and doors. Next, seal air leaks surrounding utility pipes that cut through walls, gaps surrounding chimneys, unfinished areas behind cabinets, and space surround recessed lights in insulated ceilings.
Heat only the rooms you use
No guests in the near future? Time to seal off the vents and close the door to the guest room. Trap the heat in rooms that you use, while keeping it out of places where it is wasted.
Keep your fan running
Just because summer is over doesn’t mean the fans get to rest. If you have a ceiling fan, setting it to rotate clockwise will recirculate the hot air from the ceiling, pushing it down into your room where you need it.
An open damper is like an open window – warm air finds its way right up and out. Get in the habit of keeping the damper closed unless a fire is burning. When you do make a fire, you can reduce lost energy by cracking open the dampers in the firebox bottom, or alternately opening the nearest window just slightly to create a positive draft. When contacting a contractor for your chimney maintenance, be sure your contractor checks the seal on the flue damper to ensure it is snug. A heat-air exchange system installed near your fireplace, or even a simple fan, will help distribute the warm air throughout your home, enabling you to further turn down your thermostat.
Like your car, your heating and cooling systems need maintenance to continue functioning efficiently. Pre-season check-ups save money in the long run by enabling equipment to perform as designed while detecting any problems in advance of a major catastrophe. Contact a contractor to check gas or oil connections, gas pressure, heat exchangers and burner combustion. If improperly connected, your gas or oil lines can quickly become a fire hazard and affect your health. Clean, inspect, or change air filters in your furnace or central air conditioner monthly. A dirty filter damages equipment and will cost more in the long run. Now is a great time to get an AC checkup, as peak AC season is waning.