Colder weather is here and in the next few months we could see the biggest winter in years! Homeowners across Northern Virginia are cranking up the heat. Keeping comfortable while conserving energy is a major wintertime concern — below are a few easy-to-implement tips to help you lower heating costs.
Start with your thermostat
Perhaps the most obvious way to save on heating costs is by turning down your thermostat. 68 degrees is an ideal thermostat setting for the heating season. At this temperature, comfortable indoor conditions will be maintained efficiently. Wear sweaters and cover up with throw blankets for extra (and free!) warmth.
While you’re away from home or as your family sleeps, set back your thermostat for further energy savings; by setting your thermostat 10 to 15 degrees lower for periods of eight or more hours, you can cut your heating costs by as much as 15 percent. There’s no sense in heating an empty house!
Turn to your heating system
Taking care of your furnace or other heating equipment will lead to even more savings. By changing your air filter on a regular basis (every one to three months, depending on the model) and having your heating system tuned up in the fall, you can save as much as 5 percent on heating costs. Our HVAC technicians will perform the necessary cleaning, adjustments, and lubrication your system requires, which will boost its efficiency.
Seal your home
A significant amount of heating energy is lost through a home’s gaps and cracks; your warm air can flow freely out of your home if it hasn’t been sealed properly. Inspect your duct system for air leaks which can cause a heating loss of as much as 30 percent, and be sure to seal all leaks with approved compounds.
Take a look around doors and windows to spot gaps. If you can see light coming through, that means your heat can escape. Caulk around doors and windows, and replace worn out weather stripping. Walk around the exterior of your home to look for areas which may be allowing hot air to escape and cool air to enter, such as exterior wall penetrations and gaps in siding.
Use your ceiling fan
During the winter months, reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Fans should be set to spin clockwise, which will push down heated air that has rose to the ceiling. By recirculating your heat, your ceiling fan will keep you warmer while using minimal energy compared to cranking up the thermostat.
Use windows wisely
On bright, sunny days, let natural sunlight flood your home. By opening your curtains, solar energy can flood your living areas, heating up indoor spaces.
Keep vents clear
Make sure your heated air is entering your living areas, as intended. Keep your vents and return air grills clear of furniture, rugs, and other objects which could keep heat from moving into the home.
Heat is attracted to cool window panes. To prevent heat loss, cover windows at night; this will also reduce drafts if windows are not tightly sealed. Consider purchasing insulated curtains which will further work to hold heat inside.
For more solutions to help you lower your heating bills this season, contact ACE Air Conditioning & Heating Service, Inc. today!