January and February are two of the coldest months every year. To stay warm and comfortable, some homeowners crank up the heat. However, this can result in soaring utility bills. There are, however, some ways to save on energy costs during the winter season.
Keep in mind: If you need to add a small electrical heater to your room in order to be comfortable, you’ll benefit from a home performance audit. For safety reasons please do not use propane heaters inside of your home.
Perform a Home Energy Audit
Before you can lower your winter energy bills, it is important that you know where the money goes, so that you can make improvements. You can hire a professional home energy auditor, or you can complete the audit yourself. You should check to ensure that the attic or crawl spaces are properly insulated. Inspect your heating equipment, appliances, and electronics for damage. If the appliances or electronics are not in use, they should remain unplugged. You can replace traditional bulbs with energy-saving incandescent bulbs and check for air leaks around windows, doors, and baseboards.
Maintain the Furnace or Boiler
As your heating equipment ages, it stops working as efficiently as it did when it was new. If your furnace or boiler has to work harder to provide the amount of heat you need, your energy bills will go up. Furnaces or boilers should be maintained by a professional HVAC contractor once a year before the heating season starts. Not only will your heating equipment run more efficiently, but you may also find that repairs cost less over the lifespan of the equipment. The heater or furnace may even last longer than its expected lifespan.
Reduce Drafts, Air Leaks, and Heat Loss
If you have a drafty home, heat may be escaping faster than the home can warm up. You can prevent this by sealing any leaks around utility pipes. Caulk or weather-stripping can be added around all of the doors and windows to prevent hot air from escaping through cracks.
Further, you can cover drafty windows with a plastic film, which you usually can buy in kits. All you need to do is apply it to the inside of the window frames using double-sided tape. When you blow hot air from a hair onto it, the film shrinks and creates a trapped bubble of air that acts as insulation.
Install a “Smart” Thermostat
One way to save money on heating bills during the winter is to turn down the thermostat at night or when no one is home. However, it is easy to forget to turn the thermostat down, especially when you are running late. Installing a “smart” thermostat, like the Vivint Smart Thermostat, can help keep internal temperatures in check.
With a smart thermostat, you can have full control over the temperature of your home no matter where you are. You can turn the heat down while you are away and turn it back up just before you make it home. Many of the smart thermostats are also programmable, so you do not have to worry about turning the temperature down before heading off to bed.
Prep Water Heating and Hot Water Pipes for Cold Weather
You can lose tons of heat through your hot water pipes, especially if those pipes are outside or run through unheated parts of your home. By insulating your water heater and pipes, you can save energy because your equipment does not have to work as hard to maintain the desired temperatures. The type of insulation you will need depends on what types of equipment you have, so work with a professional HVAC contractor when completing this project.
By ensuring proper maintenance of your heating equipment and sealing your home to protect it against the cold, you will find that your winter utility bills can be quite reasonable. With lower heating bills, you will love being able to sit back and relax in your warm, comfy home.
Ready to get started? To schedule your home energy audit, contact us today.