During the winter, energy bills can skyrocket, especially in the northern part of the United States. When temperatures plummet, the only thing you can think of is staying warm enough while you relax. And if you are someone who works outside, you can’t wait to get home where you can set the temperature to what takes the chill out of your bones.
That’s all well and good – until you get that energy bill. Whether it’s electric or gas, it’s going to be high during the coldest months of the year. How can you stay comfortable and decrease those energy bills? Sometimes, the two don’t seem to go hand in hand, but you can do some things to reduce your energy bills.
Seal Windows and Doors
Look around your house for windows and doors that do not have a tight fit. Check the insulating pieces on doors to make sure they are in good condition. Replace them if not. If your windows are drafty and you cannot afford to repair them, cover them on the inside and outside with thick plastic. Make sure the plastic is tight against the window frames. Add heavy-duty drapes inside. Once it gets dark out, close the drapes to help keep the cold out and the heat in.
Convert to a Programmable Thermostat
Programming the temperature in your house will help you save money. Set it for where you are comfortable when you are home. Lower the temperature for the hours you are not home. Program it to warm up to your preferred temperature about an hour before you get home. Don’t set it too low; else it will have to work harder to bring the temperature back up. Just a few degrees will help save on your energy bills over the year.
Keep the Fireplace Damper Closed
Any time you are not using the fireplace or a wood stove, keep the damper closed. When it’s open, it’s like leaving a window open in your home. Adding a glass fireplace screen will also help keep the cold out. If you never use the fireplace, seal off the flue. If you do, make sure the damper seal is snug.
Keep Up with Furnace or HVAC Maintenance
Schedule maintenance for your furnace or central heat and air unit in the fall and again in the spring. A unit that stays efficient reduces your energy bills. Make sure you replace the filters in the air handler every 30 days. Vacuum grated access doors frequently.
Also, check the ducts running through your home. If you are not comfortable with checking the ducts, schedule an appointment with us to check the ducts. We can also clean the ducts if they haven’t been cleaned in some time.
Replace Old Units
If your unit is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a more efficient unit. Depending on the condition, you could save enough in energy bills over the first few years after replacement to cover the cost of the new unit.
Keeping your house comfortable doesn’t have to break the bank, even in the winter. If your furnace or HVAC unit hasn’t been maintained in some time, if you have an older unit that needs replacing, or if you need the ducts cleaned, contact us at Paul’s Heating and Air Conditioning to schedule an appointment and start saving money now.