It isn’t too early to start thinking about being heat efficient and reduce the dreaded heating bill. With gas prices rising, more and more people are cutting on their heat consumption. The high energy costs weigh heavily on the wallets for many. The tips to be heat efficient are simple, which many of us overlook. But in the current situation, every penny saved of your hard earned dollar helps. Let’s talk about some simple precautions one could take.
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Get a Home Energy Audit
The U.S Department of Energy (DOE) recommends homeowners to get a home energy audit to assess the consumption of energy. An audit is a perfect way to check the efficiency of the heating units, get suggestions on how to preserve energy and save money. Though homeowners could do the audit themselves; a professional auditor is recommended!
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Replacing Old Oversized Heating Units
Older homes (like mine) come with oversized heating units that not only create huge temperature differences but are less efficient too. It makes sense invest a chunk of your money and get the old furnace or boiler replaced than to keep paying high bills.
Older furnace and boiler systems had efficiencies in the range of 56%-70%, modern conventional heating systems can achieve efficiencies as high as 97%, converting nearly all the fuel to useful heat for your home. Energy efficiency upgrades and a new high-efficiency heating system can often cut your fuel bills and your furnace’s pollution output in half.
(Retrieved from http://www.energysavers.gov/your_home/space_heating_cooling/index.cfm/mytopic=12530)
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Regular Maintenance
Like your car, your furnace and gas appliances need regular maintenance too. Make sure to get your units checked annually by a professional to ensure energy efficiency to the max.
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Seal, seal, seal
I never realized sealing around windows or doors was necessary until I stepped into my daughter’s room one night. Even with the heat, the bed was freezing. According to the DOE, the most common places where air escaped was floors, walls, ceilings (31 %), ducts (15 %),fireplaces (14 %)plumbing penetrations (13 %), doors (11 %) and windows (10 %) (Retrieved from http://www.aga.org/Kc/winterheatingseason/EETipsConsumers.htm)
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Using a programmable thermostat
This is the first change we made to our house. The best part was one could personalize the temperature. The programmed temperature allowed our home to remain warm during days and cooler during nights. The down comforter helped then! Turning the thermostat back 10% to 15 % for eight hours per day cuts your heating bill by 10%.
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Keeping a regulated temperature
During winter months, the thermostat should ideally be kept between 65 and 70 degrees. Constant thermostat adjustments should be avoided.
Tip on how to be Heat Efficient: Change filters
Getting into a habit of constantly changing filters is important. One of the best tip I have learned it to change it as soon as we receive the gas bill.
Other tips on how to be Heat Efficient
Close the vents of all rooms unused.
Turning down the water heater and thermostat during vacation
Have your ducts tested for air leakage. Leaking ducts can reduce the efficiency of your heating system by up to 30 percent.
If not using the fireplace, close the damper.
Be conscious; make changes to your lifestyle and save money this winter.
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