Winter heating bills can be stunners. It couldn’t really cost that much just to stay warm, could it? Yup, it sure could.
The bad news is that if you’re like the average homeowner, you use up about half your annual expenditure for energy to keep you and your family warm in winter and cool in summer. For most, the overall energy bill runs about $2,200 for a family. That means you spend well over $1,000 each year to keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
And the news gets worse. You always thought your car was the environmental evil. Not so. The average American home actually gives off two times as many greenhouse gas emissions as your car.
Want to save yourself some money this winter, reduce your annual energy bill and help the environment? Read on. Here are 5 tips to help you cut down your home heating bills this winter.
#1. Upgrade Your Thermostat
Get a smart thermostat and it will pay for itself quickly. Conventional thermostats measure temperature right where they are installed. But the newer ones have sensors you can place around the house. The result is a more nuanced, accurate overall reading for the house.
These units also monitor your energy usage and let you know how you’re doing. They have apps you can check, so you can change things up quickly and save energy and money.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends that at night you reduce your comfortable daytime temperature by 8 degrees. Even most older thermostats can be programmed to do that. Do the same when you’re away from home for an extended period of time. That 8-degree drop can save you about $180 a year, a sizable start in reducing your heating costs.
Do you have rooms you seldom use? You’re wasting money if you’re heating those unused areas. Shut the heat register in them and close the door.
#2. Tend Your Furnace
Your furnace needs preventive maintenance, just like your car. When was the last time you checked its air filters and changed them? With clean filters, the furnace doesn’t have to work as hard so it runs more efficiently, saving money.
If you’re leery of doing it yourself—and most homeowners are—schedule a tune-up. A trained technician can spot worn and damaged parts and replace them now, before they cause a breakdown. A tune-up for your furnace is an investment in your comfort and a smart way to avoid big repair and replacement bills.
Your house probably has major insulation in the attic and walls. But most homes, especially older ones, develop small energy leaks that let in cold air and suck out your money, in the form of higher energy bills.
Do you notice cool spots around specific windows? A quick, effective method to stop drafts is with plastic sheeting. It doesn’t look classy, but it works.
Now check your wall outlets. This is a surprise to most homeowners. But it’s a fact that one of the biggest culprits for letting in cold air is through these outlets. Get foam insulation, already pre-cut at hardware stores. These fit snugly around switch plates and tucked behind wall plates.
Does your water heater have a blanket? Some heaters come with sufficient insulation built in, but many don’t. Touch the appliance. If it feels warm, it needs a blanket. You can buy them pre-cut at home improvement centers. That can save you 7 to 16 percent on the cost of heating your water.
#4. Get an Energy Audit
What if you do all three of these suggestions—thermostat, furnace and insulation–but you still feel drafts of cold air in spots around the house? Consider getting a home energy audit.
Technicians will come in with special tools, like infrared sensors. They can actually see where you’re losing the heat. You’ll get accurate information that pinpoints where your home is leaking warm air and money.
With this type of data, you’ll know if replacing your old windows is a good investment. Or perhaps you need to add more insulation upstairs or in the walls.
#5. Call in an Expert
Emory Plumbing and heating has been helping homeowners in the San Diego area for over seven decades. We have repaired and installed thousands of heating systems throughout San Diego County since 1944. We are experts.
We do furnace tune-ups, repairs, maintenance and replacement. We are happy to answer your heating questions and help you make educated choices.
Our technicians are highly trained and all work is guaranteed. We handle big jobs and small jobs, all of them with genuine care and attention to detail. We want to keep you comfortable all year round.
To stay comfortable this winter and save money, call the professionals at Emory Plumbing today.