Fuel and electricity costs just keep rising. Global warming keeps spreading. Doing everything we can to run our heating systems more efficiently can really impact our pocketbooks and the planet.
The Department of Energy recommends a temperature of 68°F while you’re awake and lower while asleep or away from home. This small adjustment (2°F for most people) can save you up to10% a year on energy.
We’ve all forgotten to turn back the thermostat when we leave the house. Why worry about it when you can let a programmable thermostat take care of settings for you? A programmable thermostat can be set to automatically lower the temperature when you aren’t home or while you’re asleep. This simple change can save 5 – 15% in energy use according to the Department of Energy.
To learn more about the options available, take a look at Department of Energy’s Thermostat Guide.
Most people have their hot water heater set too high. Keep your water heater set to somewhere between 110°F and 120°F for better efficiency.
If your furniture is covering all your heat registers, you have rugs over floor vents, and stuff in front of radiators, you likely turn the heat up more often than necessary. Blocking heat registers makes your heating system work harder, therefore less efficiently. Blocking heat also likely means you turn up your heat more often and higher than necessary. Make sure your furniture and other belongings aren’t blocking your heat vents. Also, be sure to vacuum out registers and vents every month to make sure they’re clear so they can transmit heat efficiently.
Letting precious heat escape your house through gaps around windows and doors is costing you. Caulk windows, weatherstrip doors, and look for other gaps around your house (electrical outlets are a biggie!), put draft blockers at door thresholds. These simple tasks can be done in a weekend, and save you up to 20% on your heating bill!
We have ceiling fans for comfort, but they can be a big culprit in wasting energy. During the colder months, make sure your fan is turning counter-clockwise. This will push the warm air that rises up to it back down into living spaces.
Another simple effort is making sure you open south-facing window treatments during the day to let in the sun’s warmth. Also remember to close them up tight at night to keep out the chill.
Your furnace filter should be changed every month during heating periods. During off season, check it regularly and change it every 3 months during light use. Check and clean the filter on your heat pump monthly.
Preventative maintenance and regular cleanings keep your heating system running at top efficiency. Also, 50% of heating repairs are the result of no maintenance. Be sure to schedule your annual tune ups with a qualified heating professional to ensure annual savings, and improve the longevity of your system.