In areas that have cold Winters, heating costs to heat your home a can quickly tear a hole in a family’s budget, if you don’t use these tips.
With prices for heating oil, propane, and kerosene on the rise, taking steps to reduce your heating costs can make a huge difference, particularly if you have an older home.
Older homes often have wonderful character, but the bad news is these houses can cost two to three times as much to heat compared to today’s newer energy-efficient homes of the same size.
The news is that improvements to these homes can literally save you thousand of dollars a year.
If your home is poorly insulated, add additional insulation. It will pay for itself quickly.
If you have an old furnace, consider replacing it. Replacing a twenty-year-old furnace with a newer high-efficiency model would save the average U.S. household $800 a year, at least, in heating costs. 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, in order to locate any areas where heated air is escaping. Then 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 those found in bathroom ceilings and kitchen hoods. 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. The only result will be that 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 get the contents and the air up to the desired temperature than it would have to have kept them reasonably warm. Anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) starts to be self-defeating.
Do conscientious maintenance on your furnance, heat pumps, or other heating equipment. Keeping filters clean will emprove 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-emissivity windows, also called low-E, have an ultrathin metallic coating in the glass that reflects heat back to its source, thus keeping homes warmer in the Winter and cooler in the Summer. This represents more than $600 or more a year for an average two-thousand-square-foot home. It will also increase your comfort.
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