Tips to Stay Warm While Saving Money
It may be time to start thinking about your family staying comfortable and warm, even if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap to turn on your furnace just yet.
As the weather starts turning cooler, it seems like everyone starts playing the game of “When is it time to turn on the furnace?”. While some people may have already kicked on their heat for the season, many people try to hold out as long as possible, mostly to keep energy costs lower. If you fall into the category of struggling between comfort and energy savings, we have some news for you, there are things you can do to stay warm while saving money.
Tips to Stay Warm While Saving Money
Octobers in Western New York, like many other times throughout the year, can lead to large temperature changes during the month and even in just one day. It may be 65° and sunny one day and 50° and dreary the next. With the nights in October sometimes dropping below 40°, it may be time to start thinking about your family staying comfortable and warm, even if you aren’t quite ready to take the leap to turn on your furnace just yet.
Below we review some things you can do to stay warm while saving money.
Schedule a Furnace Tune-up. The most important thing you can do to ensure you aren’t losing money while heating your home, is to schedule a furnace tune-up. Having an annual furnace inspection and tune-up will help to ensure you and your family aren’t without heat this fall and winter and will help to identify any issues you may have with your heating unit, which can save you money. A furnace tune-up will make your system more efficient, which could result in substantial energy savings. A furnace tune-up can also help to remove spotty heating and other performance problems. With a tune-up, potential issues and blockages are identified before they cause uneven heating or other issues. If there is an issue with your furnace, you may have to turn up the heat even more to stay comfortable, which can cost you.
Prepare Your Windows. When it comes to heat loss, windows are some of the biggest culprits. One of the easiest things you can do, to cut the costs of heating your home, 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. You can also install extra insulated coverings or plastic around your windows to lower the amount of heat escaping and cold coming in. A layer of plastic will let the sunlight in while keeping the warmth where it belongs: inside.
Flip 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 cozy as well. As we know, warm air rises, but did you know that this can have a chilling effect on your heating bills? 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. Reversing and utilizing your ceiling fans, can push the warmth down to you and help you stay warm while saving money.
Reduce the Use of Vent and Exhaust Fans. While using your ceiling fans in reverse can help you stay warm, using vents and other exhaust fans can actually push the heat outside of your home. These fans do a great job of sucking out humidity; and since the air is much drier in the colder months of the year, humidity should already be low. If you use vents or exhaust fans while running your furnace, the fans will pull warm air out of the room, and that air is replaced with colder air that then needs to be heated. Switch these fans on only when necessary to ensure that you’re not wasting any of your home’s heat.
Change Air Filters Regularly. An obstructed or dirty air filter in your Buffalo, New York home affects the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. A dirty 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.
Turn Down the Thermostat. If you are trying to stay warm while saving money, you should set your programmable thermostat as low as is comfortable and decrease the set point when you’re sleeping or away from home. If you don’t already have a programmable thermostat, it may be time to upgrade. 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. Regardless if your thermostat is programmable or not, you should set your temperatures 5 to 10 degrees lower when you are sleeping or away from your home.
Cooler Temperatures Shouldn’t be the Reason Why Your Home is Not Comfortable
As the brisk breezes start to set in in Buffalo and the surrounding areas, you and your family should still be comfortable in your home, without breaking the bank. We have reviewed some tips to stay warm while saving money, but there are other things you can do as well: upgrade to an energy efficient heater, dress warmer, add extra insulation to areas of your home that tend to get cooler, and more.
When it comes to your comfort, Reimer Home Services is here. 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. 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.