With energy costs and inflation rising to the highest levels in decades, many Lynchburg families are looking for ways to save energy this winter. The good news is there are many steps you can take to conserve energy and reduce heat loss in your home. Here are five simple ways to reduce your heating bill and save energy this winter.
1. Keep Your Furnace Maintained – Annual heating system maintenance is essential for ensuring that your furnace or heat pump operates at peak efficiency. A dirty, unmaintained system will not only cost you money on your heating bill, it will eventually lead to repair bills and early replacement. Schedule your furnace tune-up or boiler tune-up early so you’re ready for the arrival of cold weather.
2. Update Your Heating System – Replacing an old heating system with a new, high-efficiency furnace or heat pump can pay for itself in the form of lower heating bills. You can check the Energy Star® ratings of different furnace and heat pump models to estimate how much you would likely save annually on your heating bill.
Don’t have central heating? Ductless mini-split heating and cooling systems are a great, energy efficient alternative to baseboard heat and window AC units.
3. Replace The Furnace Filter Regularly – Replacing your furnace filter when it’s dirty will allow your furnace to operate more efficiently. Follow the filter manufacturer’s replacement schedule, or replace it once a month if there are indoor air quality concerns. Keep a supply of extra filters near the furnace so you always have a replacement filter on hand.
3. Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat – While older programmable thermostats do a decent job of keeping the heat on only when it’s needed, the reality is most homeowners never bother to program their thermostat correctly.
A smart thermostat learns your household routine by sensing when a room is occupied and adjusting the temperature all on its own. By using the smartphone app that comes with most smart thermostats, you’ll be able to make adjustments to your home’s heating and cooling system more conveniently, even when you’re away from home.
Smart thermostats are easy to install, just make sure you follow the user’s guide so it’s installed in the optimal location in your home.
4. Use Space Heaters – If you spend most of your time in your home office or den, it makes sense to lower the thermostat for your main heating system and heat only the rooms that are occupied. Just remember that space heaters should not be used when your asleep or when you’re not home.
5. Install More Insulation and Weather Striping – None of the tips above will do much good if your home is leaking warm air. Ensure that your attic has sufficient insulation and seal any air leaks around windows and doors.
Want to know how much heat is escaping from your home? Buy an inexpensive thermal imaging device for your smart phone, and you may be surprised at the results!
Bonus Tip: Let the sun in – On sunny days, remember to open your curtains to allow the natural warmth of the sun to heat your home. Close curtains on cloudy days and at night to keep heat in.