For many homeowners, winter weather brings with it the fear of not just a cold and uncomfortable home, but also soaring heating bills. However, there are ways to cut heating costs while keeping your home warm and comfortable at the same time.
1. Get a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats can help you regulate your home’s temperature and control costs. Alternate by turning the heating down when you’re sleeping or away, and turning it up at other times. You could save anywhere from 10 – 20 percent of your electricity bill! Here are some recommended settings you can follow:
6 am to 9 am = 68 degrees
9 am to 5:30 pm = 60 degrees
5:30 pm to 11 pm = 68 degrees
11 pm to 6 am = 60 degrees
2. Make Sure Vents, Registers and Radiators Are Free of Obstacles
In many homes, furniture such as couches, chairs and beds are placed so that they block heat flow into a room. This results in cold rooms and high energy bills. Rearranging furniture to keep vents and radiators free can help solve this problem.
3. Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit identifies where and how your home is losing energy. A certified RESNET Home Energy Auditor will identify which systems in your home are working inefficiently (e.g. HVAC), and propose cost-effective solutions.
4. Use the Right Insulation in Your Home
It’s a little known fact, but according to the Department of Energy (DOE), only 20 per cent of homes built before 1980 are well insulated. The DOE also states that by adding insulation to areas such as attics, floors and crawl spaces, you could save up to 20 per cent on your heating and cooling costs by reducing air leaks.
5. Winterize Your Windows
Preparing your windows for winter weather will help cut heating costs and go a long way to keeping your home warm and comfortable. You can do this by:
• Adding weather stripping
• Installing storm windows
• Replacing old windows with new, ENERGY STAR certified models