With the holiday season now upon us, thoughts of love and good cheer can find themselves in competition with worries about increased energy use around the house.
Since temperatures can drop pretty dramatically once the sun goes down on the Front Range, finding ways to reduce your home heating bills will go a long way toward keeping everyone in good spirits over the holidays.
Here are a few tricks worth knowing about:
- Find your comfort level, and go below it (if you can). The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that reducing a thermostat’s setting by one single degree for eight hours in a row can save one percent off a monthly heating bill. Setting the thermostat at 61 or 62 degrees while you’re away at work won’t be noticed at all by you, but you’ll definitely see the difference when your next heating bill arrives.
- Get out the old blankets and flannel sheets. Keeping the temperature set just a bit lower in the evening can add to the savings even more! And if you have some wool socks, wear those to bed too.
- Reduce the drafts coming into your house. In wintertime, cold air tries to get into your house while warm air tries to get out. The slightest gap in a windowpane or under an exterior door can allow hot-for-cold exchanges to occur. Weather stripping seals these gaps, and will pay for itself in just a few weeks.
- Shut your fireplace when you aren’t using it. The damper in your fireplace has to be open in order for smoke to escape. But leaving it open when the fire goes out creates an opening for the cold air to enter your home.
- Run your ceiling fans in reverse. This really works! Reversing the fan’s rotation in the wintertime creates an updraft that forces the warmer air near the ceiling downward.
- Consider adding new insulation. Keeping your attic insulation at appropriate levels can save as much as 20 percent on monthly heating costs, according to Energy Star. Insulating the ductwork within your house adds even more to these savings.
- Change your air filters often. Do you even know the last time you changed your air filters? Clean filters are important because old, clogged filters force your furnace to work harder than it needs to.
- Watch the clock. Energy costs less at off-peak hours, especially early in the morning and late at night. Check your utility bill for a breakdown of when these costs are lower, and see if running an extra load of laundry can wait until then.
- Have your furnace looked at before turning it on. In the heat of summer months, your furnace is probably farthest from your mind, but it’s better to know about any problems beforehand rather than have your furnace breakdown on a cold winter’s night. Having a certified technician examine your system will make sure that any issues are properly addressed before the heat comes on for the first time.
- Program your thermostat. Setting a regular routine for the temperature changes in your house can even out disruptions. This is much better than deciding that the house is too cold, and then turning up the thermostat by 5 or 6 degrees all at once. Your furnace then has to race just to get caught up, and this costs more money than it needs too. Slow and steady not only wins the race, but it heats the house more efficiently as well.
Mitchell Heating DC is a family-owned and operated business dedicated to serving the Colorado Springs, Denver Metro and Northern Colorado areas through quality and affordable service. To schedule a home visit, or discuss why a humidifier may be right for you, visit www.mitchellheating.com today or call (202) 621-2247.