How to Save Money on Heating Your Home this Winter
As a homeowner, when you think about winter, you likely think about the impact that it has on your energy costs and expenses.
Buffalo, New York winters are known for our lake effect snows and frigid temperatures. As a homeowner, when you think about winter, you likely also think about the impact that it has on your energy costs and expenses. Heating your home typically makes up about 29% of your utility bill and consumes the most energy, of all things, in your home. We are going to review some ways for you to save money on heating your home this winter, while still keeping you and your family comfortable and cozy.
Save Money on Heating Your Home this Winter
When it comes to our Buffalo winters, we have enough on our plate with shoveling our driveways, keeping our pipes from freezing, and staying in front of school closings; the last thing you want to worry about is how much the colder temperatures are going to cost you on energy expenses. There are things you can do to keep the costs down and still remain comfortable.
Let’s review how you can save money on heating your home this winter.
– Upgrade to an Energy Efficient Heater: If you don’t have an energy efficient heater, you may want to consider upgrading to one. There is value in energy efficient heaters. The more efficient your furnace is, the less money you’ll spend heating your home. If your heating unit has passed its prime, it can cost you. The average heater has a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years. Furnace efficiency can decline by about five percent each year without proper upkeep. And even if you’ve had consistent visits from your local HVAC repair company in Western New York, the components in your heating system will eventually start to degrade due to time and use.
– Install and Utilize Window Treatments: One of the easiest things you can do, to save money on heating your home this winter, is to open your curtains and blinds during the daytime to embrace solar heat. Naturally heat your home by opening the curtains of south-facing windows during the day to allow the sunlight in. Be sure to close all window coverings at night to reduce the chill and heat loss. Closing the curtains during the winter nights helps reduce up to 10% in heat loss. If you don’t already have thermal curtains, you may want to consider upgrading to them, as they can add an extra layer of insulation to your windows.
– Reduce Drafts and Air Leaks: Another great way to keep your home warm, while saving you money, is to make sure your home isn’t allowing heat to escape. Over 30% of a typical home’s heat loss occurs through windows and doors. Air can also leak into or out of the house through the cracks and gaps inside your home, such as electrical outlets, baseboards, and attic hatches. Seal around openings to make your home less drafty and to keep the warm air inside. Caulking air leaks can save an average household 10% to 20% on annual heating and cooling bills. Weather-stripping your windows is another option. Weather-stripping can save you an additional 5% to 10% annually. Caulking and weather-stripping usually pay for themselves and then some.
– Program Your Thermostat and Keep it Down: During the winter months, you should set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable and decrease the set point when you’re sleeping or away from home. You can save at minimal 10% a year on heating and cooling costs by having a programmable thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy suggests keeping the temperature no higher than 68°F during the colder months of the year, and lowering that by at least 10 degrees while you sleep or are away. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it may be time to upgrade.
– Maintain Air Filters: An obstructed or dirty air filter in your Buffalo, New York home affects the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. A grungy filter can impede the air flow of your system. The air filter’s job is to capture all the dust and particles in your home’s air before that air gets to the HVAC system. When you have a dirty filter, it makes your heating and air conditioning system work harder to move the air through your system. This extra work, will increase your energy bills, drive up your carbon footprint, and cause your heating and cooling costs to rise. According to the Department of Energy, a dirty air filter can increase energy costs by up to 15%. Clean or replace filters on furnaces once a month or as recommended.
– Use Your Ceiling Fans: It may seem like a crazy concept to use your ceiling fans to stay warm, since typically ceiling fans are used to keep you cooler; however, ceiling fans can in fact help you stay snug as well. Normally, ceiling fans rotate counterclockwise, pushing air down and producing a slight wind chill effect, allowing you to feel cooler. In the winter, you can switch your ceiling fan’s blade rotation to clockwise, producing an updraft and moving the warm air that collects near your ceiling down into the rest of the room. Hot air rises, so reversing and utilizing your ceiling fans, even in the winter, can push the warmth down to you.
You can save money on heating your home this winter by utilizing the above tips. For any of your heating needs, Reimer Home Services is also here to ensure you and your family remain comfortable in your Buffalo home.
We fix, service, and replace furnaces and boilers here in Buffalo and Western New York. Since 1921, local homeowners have trusted Reimer with their home’s heating service needs. Has your furnace stopped working? Call us. We’re available Day or Night to help. We don’t charge our customers extra for service on nights or weekends. Plus, all of our repairs come backed by our 2-year warranty.