With the holidays right around the corner, most of our bank accounts will feel the strain. Presents, parties, and winter clothes can add up quickly. That makes October a perfect time to take a few extra steps to help save money and reduce expenses. Here are a few energy saving tips that can be done around the home which can help you save money and reduce your energy bills.
- Set back your thermostat. This is a simple, quick step, that can help you shave up to $30 a month on your energy bill. Adjust it to the coolest level that's comfortable. Caution: Don't set the thermostat more than 5 degrees cooler than the normal rating when you're away. This will require extra energy to heat it back up when you return. For even more savings: Invest in a programmable thermostat. There are several great options that even work with smartphone apps, so you can adjust them from wherever you are, at any time. For more information, contact one of our comfort specialists today.
- Clean warm air registers, baseboard heaters and/or radiators. Make sure that carpeting, furniture or draperies are not blocking them. Putting furniture over registers, or in front of radiators blocks the amount of energy that register/radiator can emit into the room, thus causing your system to run longer cycles, and thus (you guessed it!) causing you more money to operate.
- Close that fireplace flue. Autumn leaves and crips nights make us crave a crackling fire. Fireplaces are warm, cozy and wonderful, but an open flue damper draws warm air out of your house 24 hours a day. This causes your system to work overtime heating up the house. If you do shut your flue on a regular basis, you can do a quick match test. Light a match and hold it around the seal of your damper to check for leaks. If the flame is drawn up to the flue then you have a leak. It's a good idea to reach out to your professional chiminey company so that they can seal it for you.
- Add a humidifier. The health benefits from a humidifier are widely known. However, did you know the energy savings you can get from a humidifier in the Fall and Winter can be as high as 20%? Humidity keeps your warm forced air trapped in the living area in the house longer, which can help your thermostat maintain it's set temperature longer.
- Get a tune-up on your heating system! We cannot stress this enough. A tune-up on your heating system can not only save money, but it can help spot any potential dangers that could become bigger problems. Learn more about why Fall is the perfect time for a tune-up and schedule yours today!
- Have your ductwork checked for leaks. If you've got split, fallen, or perforated ductwork, then this can save you a bundle! Leaks allow the warm air you are paying for to escape your home. If you're not sure about ductwork leaks, give us a call and one of our comfort specialists can help.
- Change your air filter. How often do you change your air filter? Every 3 months, 6 months, what filter? A blocked return from a filter can cause your system to operate much longer than normal as well as not provide the temperature that you desire inside the home. This is an easy step that goes a long way in helping to save money. Learn more about filters and when to change them. Better yet, download our handy filter change calendar, so you always remember the last time you changed it!
- Lower your dishwasher and washing machine temperatures. These appliances use hot water from your main house supply which is much more costly in cold weather.
- Invest in energy efficient windows. Windows are a big investmet. It's important to note that the savings can end up paying for the windows over time. It's a good idea to at least get a quote. Most reputable window companies will give these free of charge and can even estimate your portential savings.
- Seal all pipe penetrations into your house. For those of us that have attics and crawl spaces, we might as well consider those areas as "outside" the house. Usually these spaces are not conditioned, yet they have hundreds of penetrations for water pipes, sewer lines, vent stacks, etc. Use a can of spray insulation (found at your local hardware store) to seal up all those penetrations. Much like a leaky flue (see #3), these small penetrations add up and can be extrememly costly year in and year out if left untreated.
For more information on how to make your home more energy efficent, contact the comfort experts at Howell's Heating & Air today.