If you’re like most Americans, then your heating bill is likely to be higher over the next few months than at any other time during the year. However, just because you’re naturally going to run your heater more during the wintertime does not mean your utility bills have to skyrocket. If you find that your energy expenses are spiraling out of control this winter, keep reading for the top ways to save money on heating costs. And remember, our HVAC experts at Roby Services are available year-round for all your heating and cooling needs.
5 Reliable Ways to Reduce Your Heating Bill This Winter
- Stop Running the Heater When You Are Not Home: In the summertime, it is actually more cost-efficient to run the air conditioner when you leave for work, as your AC unit will struggle to cool your whole space if you wait to till you get home to turn it on—i.e. you will experience less relief for higher costs. However, the same is not true of furnaces and other heating systems. Letting your furnace run all day is not only a huge waste of money, it can actually overheat your space, which may be dangerous for your property. The best time to turn your heater on is a few minutes before you get home from work, so you don’t step into a cold house but don’t end up raising your bill more than necessary, either. You should be able to program your thermostat accordingly to help do this, which brings us to…
- Keep Your Thermostat Setting Lower Than Normal: While you might naturally assume that it’s better to turn your thermostat down in the summer and up in the winter, actually, just the opposite is true. In the summer, your thermostat should be set higher—ideally somewhere around 78 degrees. Then, when you reach the wintertime, you should adjust your thermostat setting so that it is lower than usual. For instance, if your thermostat is usually set at 72 degrees you should try turning it down to at least 68. The effect of this seasonal temperature reversal will be to balance out the costs of your HVAC system, helping you enjoy even temperatures without raising your utility bills more than necessary. If you have a programmable, smart thermostat, this will be even easier, as these models use cutting-edge technology to actually learn your ideal comfort settings, and will then adjust automatically for you.
- Change Your Filters at the Beginning of the Season: If you have a forced-air heating system, such as a furnace, it likely has a filter to trap dust and other particles in your air. The more you use your heating system, the dirtier this filter will get, eventually causing your indoor air quality to suffer, your furnace to have to work harder, and your energy bills to go up. That’s why it’s always a good idea to replace your furnace filter at the beginning of the season, so you can enjoy clean air, comfortable temperatures, and lower energy costs all winter-long. As a rule of thumb, this basically applies to any piece of HVAC equipment. The difference between forced air systems and something like a ductless mini-split is that with the latter, you can usually clean the filter every few weeks to achieve proper operation. But with a furnace or other forced-air heating system, you will need to replace the filter entirely, ideally semi-annually.
- Seal Up Cracks & Holes Throughout Your House: Each year, homeowners lose roughly 20-30% of the heat from forced-air systems due to cracks and holes in their ductwork. However, it is easy to lose air from ductless systems too, just because of all the openings throughout your house. To prevent hot air from getting out and cold air from getting in, thus affecting your house’s temperature and driving up your energy bills, you should try to seal up as many gaps as possible throughout your home. This could involve patching up your ductwork, putting in new insulation, or weather-stripping your doors. Even locking windows after they are shut can help seal in heat that may be slipping out right under your nose. Bottom line: 20-30% wasted heat means a lot of wasted money , too, so try to seal up your home as much as possible.
- Do Not Hesitate to Call for Heating Maintenance: Although there are a lot of things you can do on your own to keep your heating bills low this winter, you also should never be afraid to call for professional heating maintenance. At Roby Services, we can provide you with a heater tune-up designed to detect any necessary repairs and increase your system’s overall energy efficiency. With the right maintenance technician, you can actually save money on heating costs in the long run, so give Roby Services a call to schedule your next heating system inspection today.