Cold winters bring higher heating costs that quickly tear a hole in a family’s budget; so use these tips to heat your home, not the outdoors.
Recently, gasoline, heating oil, propane and kerosene started rising.
When gas goes up, so does its derivative products.
Taking steps now to reduce your heating costs can make a huge difference, particularly if you have an older home.
Older homes often have wonderful character, but these houses can cost three times as much to heat compared to energy efficient homes.
My home was built in 1963, which I purchased in 2009.
And, the first project I did was had it insulated from attic to crawl space.
Improvements to heat your home can literally save you thousands of dollars a year.
If your home is poorly insulated, then add additional insulation.
It will pay for itself quickly.
Also, I strongly recommend replacing your old furnace—as soon as possible.
Replacing a twenty-five-year-old furnace with a newer high-efficiency model would save you $800+ a year in heating costs.
Personal case in point, my old furnace appeared to be original to the house (1963), so it worked off and on.
When I had it inspected, the bottom was rusted, so I replaced it and the ductwork in 2015.
The fact is, furnaces from the 1980s and early 1990s are only 50-60 percent as efficient as today’s Energy Star qualified furnaces.
Check for drafts around windows, doors, and fireplaces to locate any areas where heated air is escaping.
Use caulk, weather stripping, door sweeps, and other appropriate means to block the leaks.
In the winter, limit your use of ventilating fans, such as bathroom ceilings and kitchen hood.
These fans can suck all the heated air out of the average house in an hour or two.
Their regular use during the winter adds a surprising amount to heating costs.
There’s never any point in turning your thermostat above your desired temperature.
Your home won’t heat up any quicker.
As a result, the furnace or heating system will be on longer, leading to overheating and higher bills.
Turn down the heat at night and when you’re out for the day, but not too much.
If the house gets too cold, it can actually cost you more to warm the air again.
If there are rooms in your house that you don’t use regularly, don’t heat them except when needed.
Close the heating vents or turn down the thermostats in these rooms , and keep the doors closed.
This can save a lot of energy and money.
Do spring and fall maintenance on your furnace, heat pump or other heating equipment.
Keeping filters clean will also improve the efficiency of your heating system and help it to last longer.
If your windows are single pane, consider replacing them.
Replacing aluminum frame single-pane windows with double pane, Low-E, wood or vinyl frame windows will save 32 percent of the average home’s annual heating energy cost.
Low-E (emissive) windows that reflect heat back to its source keeps homes warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer (Andersen Replacement windows are an excellent example of Low-E windows).
This represents more than $600+ a year for an average two thousand square foot home.
It will also increase comfort.
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