Are leaves crunching under foot? Does your favorite coffee shop smell like someone forgot to take last year’s pumpkin out of the truck? Have you noticed tweens in the neighborhood exchanging their Birks for Uggs and comfy leggings? Yep, it’s time to turn up the thermostat. But heating season doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank to pay your energy bills. Whether you’re in Springfield, Texas or Springfield, Minnesota, you can do some things to ensure you stay cozy while cutting energy costs this fall/winter heating season.
Tips for Energy Saving During Heating Season
Some small fixes can help your home or business stay warm and save you some coin at the end of the month. Here are some to consider.
- Inspect Your Filter Monthly. Checking and changing your filter regularly is one easy way to ensure your heating bills stay reasonable this year. Change your filter when it looks dirty. A dirty filter will slow airflow through your vents, forcing your heating system to work harder. When your system works harder, it costs more to run. Filter changes will also prevent dirt buildup and dust in the system, leading to early system failure.
- Consider a Programmable Thermostat. Programmable thermostats can turn the heat down remotely, meaning you can adjust it when no one is home or turn it up ahead of early morning chills. This device usually costs less than $100, but it pays for itself pretty fast. In fact, by cutting energy consumption by 20-30%, you can save about $180 a year in energy costs.
- Turn on Your Ceiling Fans. It may seem counter intuitive, but using your ceiling fans in the winter can actually push heat back down rather than letting it rise. Keep it spinning on low and make sure the blades turn clockwise when you look up – the opposite of what it should do in summer – and the ceiling fan will push the warm air back down to you.
- Don’t Block Your Heating Vents. A few common heat blockers include curtains, furniture, and even toys. This easy fix can be a quick cost saver – keep your heating vents free of clutter, window dressings and heavy objects.
- Repair Air Leaks in Your Home and Duct System. Air leaks mean energy is flying out the window – along with your money. Some easy fixes include sealing drafts with putty or caulk, adding weather stripping to doors and windows, and installing attic insulation. You can even insulate your heating ducts.
- Use Your Windows for Efficiency. When the sun is out, open your blinds or curtains and let the earth’s natural energy heat your home. At night or on cold days, close the window dressings to help increase insulation.
- Choose an Energy-Efficient Heating System. Most of the furnaces chugging away in our homes use dated technology, wasting your pocket money and the nation’s environmental resources. If your furnace is ready for an update, choose one that will save you some cash in the long run. Investing in an Energy Star furnace can save you up to $75 annually on energy bills. Rebates are available for some areas when you purchase energy-efficient furnaces or other energy-saving devices.
Stay Ahead of the Heating Season Winter With These Tips
Saving energy doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive, and taking advantages of some of these small changes will ensure your energy bills don’t break the bank.