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5 Ways to Lower Your Monthly Heating Cost This Winter
Most people dread the winter season, particularly because of the high heating bills that come with it. The energy costs can be unpredictable, as natural gas prices keep changing, so it helps to be prepared as winter approaches. You can make some adjustments to your living space and make it more energy-efficient to save on your monthly heating costs. In some instances, you may need to invest in better equipment that helps you save on energy costs in the long run. Let’s look at some tips that will help you lower your heating bills this winter.
1. Make Changes to the Thermostat
If you’re used to a warm home, it might be hard to hear that this is one of the best ways to lower your energy bills. It’s not uncommon for families to disagree on the temperature in a room, as every person has their own idea of the comfortable temperature. During winter, it feels even better to turn the thermostat up to make your house warm and cozy, but this also raises your energy bill. Turning down your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10 percent in annual heating costs. The recommended temperature is 68 degrees during the day, and if you’re still cold, you can layer up. At night, you should turn it down to 60 degrees and add some blankets if that’s too low.
If you’re not at home, you should turn down the thermostat, as this also helps to save on energy costs. The process of turning the heat up and down can be inconvenient, so investing in a smart thermostat helps to make it easier. You can program these to heat your house a few minutes before you get home or out of bed if you want the home to be at a specific temperature.
2. Take Care of Air Leaks in Your Home
One way to preserve the heat in your home is by sealing any air leaks around the house. Check your roof/attic, doors, windows, and other areas that could potentially let air in or out of the house and fix them up. You can get an HVAC professional to perform a blower door test and check for air leaks around the house. A simple candle test can also help you reveal air leaks around the house. This is where you light a candle and pass it around the areas you suspect might be leaking air, and if you see a flame flicker, you know there’s an air leak that needs to be taken care of.
Caulking and weather stripping are inexpensive methods of sealing up the leaks that you can consider to help you save on your monthly heating cost, especially in the winter. Leaking air ducts can also drive your monthly heating costs up. Duct sealing is a simple solution that could save you between 20 and 45 percent on your energy bills.
3. Upgrade Your Furnace
You might have to spend money to save money when it comes to your furnace. A professional should inspect your furnace every year to ensure everything is okay so that it doesn’t burn more energy than it should. This will also help prevent problems in the future.
If your furnace is old, it might also be consuming more energy than it should so it might be to your benefit to invest in a new one that will save you money long term. Replacing the air filter regularly also helps the unit work more efficiently and last longer.
Another option to consider is investing in an energy-efficient alternative such as a heat pump. Heat pumps are great because they relocate heat to provide a comfortable temperature for your home, rather than generating heat, making it more efficient than a furnace. It takes the heat from outside and uses it to heat your house during the winter season and takes the heat from inside your home and removes it to cool the house during summer.
4. Use Solar as an Alternative
One of the best ways to lower your energy bills is to utilize alternative, green sources of power. Installing solar panels and running an electric central heating system can make for affordable monthly heating costs. Solar panels may require some maintenance, such as insulating batteries and removing snow from them. However, they are still a fantastic alternative because they collect energy even in the winter. You can also sell the surplus energy to your local utility if it participates, which is another great benefit of going the solar way. If you cannot commit to solar all around your home, you can start with small solar gadgets and work your way up, as this will still save you some money.
5. Insulate Your Home
Insulating your home can help your home be comfortable and save money on your energy bill. The first thing you need to do before insulation is air seal the home. It is advisable to seal your home’s higher and lower levels then insulate to stop any remaining air leakage. Sealing your air ducts will also improve indoor air quality. It’ll prevent any leakage that might pull in dirt, dust, or mold from outside. Then insulate your space to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort.
If you want to save on energy bills during the winter and still be comfortable in your home, there are multiple options for you. Monitoring your costs to figure out the most significant energy sucks in your home can help you decide the best way to cut down on these costs. However, you don’t have to break the bank trying to figure out how you’ll lower your monthly heating costs. You can consider the options to incorporate in your home without spending any money or work with professionals from Entek in Vancouver, WA, to help you with the ones you can’t take care of by yourself.