How to Save Money on Heat this Winter
Is your energy bill too high in Eugene, OR, in the winter time? Are you looking for ways to cut costs? There are a number of simple things that you can do at home to save you money. Some of them are big projects but most are simple things that you can do in your day to day life that will help reduce the cost of heat this winter.
Air Seal Your Home
Air leaks are where outside air enters the home or where the inside air can escape the home. Reducing this leakage is a very cost-effective way to save money on your home energy bill. Two simple and effective techniques are caulking and weatherstripping. If you are building new construction, talk to us about air sealing for new construction.
Adjust Your Temperature
Turn your thermostat as low as you can and still feel comfortable, and when you are not home, turn it town another 10-15 degrees. You can also invest in a programmable thermostat. This device can automatically lower and raise your temperature based on your daily activities. This will save you money by using less heat while you are not at home to need it. These thermostats can be a little more expensive up front but often you will recoup the cost within the season.
Insulate Your Attic
We all know that heat rises, it is no secret that heat is lost through the roof of your home. Check the insulation levels in your attic. Make sure you have adequate depth and fill coverage of insulation. You can also have a professional come out and perform a home energy test and diagnose where you may or may not need more insulation.
Cover Your Drafty Windows
You can get plastic window covering kits at any hardware store. They are relatively inexpensive and will save you quite a bit of energy consumption and will increase your overall comfort level. This is a fairly cheep and easy way to save quite a bit of money on your bill.
Use Space Heaters
Depending on how much time you spend in your whole house vs. just a few rooms, you may want to invest in a space heater. If your time is spent mainly in one or two rooms, you can turn your thermostat down quite a bit and heat the rooms with an electric space heater. It is cheaper to heat up a small room than to heat up an entire house.
Dress Warmly Inside
Again, turn down the thermostat a few degrees and layer up. It can be nice to cuddle up and snuggle in blankets and sweaters on a cold winter’s night, and it will save you money at the end of the month.
Change Your Furnace Filter
A clean filter is essential to making sure your furnace is running as efficiently as possible. They also are crucial to maintaining healthy indoor air quality. You should follow your furnace industry recommendations but you should probably change your filter every 3-6 months. A dirty filter restricts air flow and causes your furnace to work harder than it needs to maintain a constant temperature.
Have Your Furnace Cleaned and Checked
This isn’t just about safety, its about preventative maintenance. You can catch the problem before your furnace stops working in the middle of the night or on the weekend. This will also ensure that your furnace is working at is optimum efficiency, providing you with the most heat for the least cost.
Close Your Fireplace Flue
You should always have your flue open if you are using your fireplace but make sure you close it when it is not in use. An open flue is like an open window and great amounts of heat can escape.
Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Most water heaters are set by default to 140 degrees. Check your temperature and turn it down to 120 degrees. This can also slow mineral buildup and corrosion and the less heat required to heat the water the less you are paying for. For most people 120 degrees is completely satisfactory for all their needs.
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