Not surprisingly, anything in our homes that uses energy ends up costing us in monthly bills. While electronics and appliances certainly cost their share of money, the Department of Energy estimates that heating and cooling are responsible for about half of energy expenses. Some people choose to suffer through the summer heat without AC, but in many states spending the winter without heating your home simply isn’t an option.
Here are some of our favorite tips to keep the dipping temperature from freezing your bank account this winter:
Maintain Your Furnace
If you aren’t providing your furnace with regular care and attention, it can’t do it’s best to keep you warm and remain energy efficient. Simple maintenance can have a huge impact on the overall life of your unit, and how hard it has to work during those cold snaps.
The easiest thing you can do is to keep your unit’s filters clean. Dirty filters mean increased heating costs due to decreased energy efficiency, not to mention potential air quality concerns if you’ve got allergic or asthmatic family members.
Also consider that your furnace may be too old to remain efficient, even with regular maintenance. Manufacturers are constantly putting out more efficient models that are more environmentally friendly and can save you money.
You should contact a Portland HVAC technician to assist you with a regularly scheduled maintenance program. This will guarantee a well maintained system since we often tend to forget about our HVAC system.
Insulate Your Home
Just like insulating yourself with warm clothes means your body doesn’t have to work to keep itself warm, extra insulation will be appreciated by your home’s heating systems. Purchasing a pre-made heating blanket or insulation kit for your hot water heater will help your unit to regulate temperature and prevent heat loss. These blankets are available at most home goods and hardware stores, and are inexpensive enough that you’ll recoup your costs with fuel savings in one or two winters.
In addition to your hot water heater, non-insulated parts of your home like vents and windows let the heat that you’ve paid for escape into the cold winter air. Take steps to winterize your home before the cold temperatures hit, and you’ll notice your family reaches to the thermostat less often. Use caulk to seal cracks between windows, replace old weatherstripping around doors, and consider investing in heavier curtains that don’t let heat easily escape.
Manage Moisture In Your Home
While you may think moisture in your home will have you feeling cold all winter, it actually has the opposite effect. Adding a humidifier to help regulate moisture levels in your home will have you feeling warmer without having to turn the furnace up those extra few degrees.
In terms of home maintenance, the moisture provided by a humidifier can slow the process of cracking in the seals around doors and windows, which in turn leads to less heat loss.
Speaking of things that get dry and cracked in the winter, your skin and nose will thank you for the added moisture, too!