Winter is almost here! That means it's time to get ready to heat the home while still being contentious of heating bills. Use these hacks to save money AND stay warm this winter:
- Check Your Seals
Homes are already filled with seals designed to keep warm air inside. There are two important seals to check on: 1. Weather-stripping seals and 2. Attic/crawlspace insulation seals. What is a weather-stripping seal? Weather-stripping is the felt lining around doors and windows. If it is too bare or has completely worn away, it needs to be replaced. Attic insulation should help cover any obvious cracks or bare surfaces, while still allowing vents to circulate air out of the top of the house.
- Program Your Thermostat (or Let It Program Itself)
Natural gas is usually less expensive than other utilities—so if you have a gas fireplace, make sure to use it over an AC heater unit if possible. When programming the thermostat, program it to start the heat only when needed (i.e., during the times of day when people are at home and need warmth). Turn it down at night and during the middle of the day. There are a number of smart thermostats that can quickly learn preferences. Money-saving thermostat schedules are available as well.
- Close Your Doors
While it may seem obvious, closing the front door can help save money! Furthermore, making sure doors throughout the house stay closed is important. Every open door creates more space for an HVAC system to heat when the furnace turns on. Ductwork helps with this, but the process can be sped up (and money can be saved) if closet and pantry doors are closed. In addition, try closing doors to rooms that aren't used. Finally, there are zoned heating systems for larger houses that can help pinpoint certain areas for heating or cooling.
- Change Your Clothing
New clothing habits can make a world of difference. Try wearing some extra clothing – or at least some thick socks – around the house. Turn the AC heater unit down several degrees. This extra layer will save money and ensure comfort.
- Maintain Your System
Furnaces work much more efficiently if they're properly maintained. A few simple maintenance steps (like replacing your filter and arranging a Ragsdale inspection) can help heat the home more reliably and inexpensively.