If you feel a chill when you look at your utility bills, it could be because your house is too warm. Your home may be heating up more than it should. Small changes can be made to save money on heating your home.
These aren’t big projects like replacing windows or insulation in your attic. These projects are easy and inexpensive. Even the most difficult projects can be completed in a weekend. Most require very few materials and require very little time. Many can be done for as little as $10. We’ll start with the simple and move on to more complicated, yet still easy, energy-saving techniques.
How to make your home warmer and not over-work your HVAC system
1. Programmable thermostats are installed
Programmable thermostats let you set different temperatures throughout the day. You don’t need to keep your home at 68 degrees every day. It can help you save money on heat and air-conditioning. You can save between 10-20% on your monthly bills by choosing a lower setting while you’re asleep or away. Some units can save as much as four degrees per day. Every unit comes with a manual bypass button.
You can often install a new thermostat yourself. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. You will usually need to take the old thermostat out of the wall and remove the wire leads from the back. Install mounting screws in the wall and reconnect the wires to your new thermostat’s terminals. There may be four leads if you have separate cooling or heating units.
However, for best results, call a Florence HVAC contractor to install the thermostat. The cost savings in your electric bill will more than cover the expense.
2. It’s Closed Season, so Keep Your Romantic Fires Low
A damper for an open fireplace allows the chimney to vent the same amount of heated air as a large, 48-inch-wide window. Make sure the flue is closed when you’re not using your fireplace. It’s a good idea to limit the use of your fireplace.
A roaring fire can heat more than 20,000 cubic yards per hour outside. While it might feel warm from the fire, cold air replaces every Btu drawn up the chimney to heat your house. It is expensive to heat all that cold air.
A good fire is a must for cold nights. Call a handyman to install glass fireplace doors. When you go to bed, these doors should be shut. This will stop large quantities of heated air from leaving the living space after the fire has been put out.
3. Ceiling fans: How to Make It Shine
Ceiling fans are very common in warmer climates. Ceiling fans move air around the room by turning counterclockwise. All energy professionals do not recommend them for heating season use. They cool down too much, according to some doubters. Fans can cool rooms with cathedral or high ceilings.
Only if the motor housing’s reversing switch is turned clockwise, this is possible. Next, reduce the fan speed to its lowest setting. If the fan isn’t cooling the room sufficiently, you can turn the blade around.
4. Take Furniture out of the way of Radiators, Registers, and Vents
This may seem obvious but it can be quite a chore. It is common for a couch, chair, or bed to be moved in summer and then remain in winter. This prevents heat from getting into the room. This can cause cold rooms and is a wasteful investment. A blocked return or supply vent can cause heat flow problems in the house by creating a pressure imbalance.
5. Stop the Draft, Close the Door
Cooler air will be attracted to the flame by rising hot air from a match. Cold air will be drawn in from the outside by heating a building. This physical principle is known as the “stack impact.” This can be overcome by reducing the airflow to your home.
You can seal the gap with a “door serpent”, a long, thin cloth sack that looks similar to a bean bag. To ensure that it stays put, you can fill it with rice or dried beans. You can also make one from scrap fabrics. You can keep heat in the right areas by closing all interior doors. This stops natural air passageways acting as chimneys, and allows warm air through the house.
6. Install a door sweep
If cold air is seeping underneath a door that opens to the outside, install a draft-defeating nylon sweep. Vinyl-and-pile attachment attaches to the bottom of the door. It is a thin, broom-like piece made of vinyl. You can use a hacksaw or a screwdriver to attach the sweep.
If you heat your garage, make sure that cold air doesn’t get in. Rubber garage-door gaskets can be used that are 12 inch thick, and then nailed in place. Galvanized roofing nails are a great way to keep cold air from freezing.
7. Windows Quick-Seal
Apply clear plastic film to your windows to create a pocket from the dead air. To make the plastic almost invisible, heat it with a blow dryer. If you don’t want it, the film can be placed in areas that aren’t being used or on patio doors and windows.
Measure your window before you buy. These windows come in different sizes. They can only be used with vinyl, wood, and aluminum. This cheap method can pay for itself quickly as heat lost through windows could account for between 10 to 25 percent of your heating costs. If you feel heat leaving your windows, shake them. Seal the gaps with putty-like rope glue before shrink wrapping. It is simple to use and messy. You can also remove it in the spring. Before the next heating season, make sure to seal your windows properly.
8. Use the Drapes
Are you using curtains or drapes to block the sun? If you have curtains or drapes that block the sun, you can open them during daylight to get solar heat free of charge. Make sure your windows are clean. At sunset, close the curtains. Insulating curtains are a good option, and they can be purchased for around $100 per window.
9. Change Your Air Filter
If you have forced-air heating systems, changing the furnace filter can help you save up to 5%. It will keep dust from building up in your home. It is more durable and less likely to break. The most popular 16×20 inch duct filter costs around 50 cents when purchased in a box. They should be replaced every month during heating season. Measure your air filter before you go. There are sizes that range from 12 X 12 inches to 30 X 30 inches. For $20, washable filters can be purchased. If they are properly maintained, they can last for up to five years.
10. Adjust your water heater
Winter means you need to use more hot water. Your water heater should be lowered from 140degC down to 120degC. Showers are better than baths. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a bath can consume up to 25 gallons of water, while a 5-minute shower only takes about 10 gallons.
You can also use low-flow showerheads to lower your shower water consumption.
11. Defeat Rapid Cycling
The thermostat settings mode can be set to stop rapid cycling. If you have to adjust it, you can move it higher. Most mechanical thermostats have an amperage scale between 0.1 to 1.2 amps. Rapid cycling can be stopped by moving the arrow one level higher. You can allow it to cycle for 24hrs before you set it up again. Rapid cycling is possible in warm winters, particularly if the heater can heat even the coldest days. Rapid cycling is most easily detected in midwinter. For 5 minutes, the heater should be turned on and then switched off for 5 minutes. It is best to have an HVAC specialist in Florence check this for you.
12. Lower the Thermostat
For every degree you lower the thermostat on your heating system, your fuel bill will drop 3 percent. It doesn’t affect comfort but it can make your heating bill go down by as much as 12 per cent. You can stay warm by dressing in layers. Here in South Carolina, the weather often warms up during the day and you can simply remove a layer as the house gets warmer.
13. Energy-saving information available for free
Want to learn more about how you can save energy? The U.S. Department of Energy website has tons of energy-saving tips for homes.
Now is the time to contact Florence HVAC Experts for a complete check of your HVAC system. We can clean the ducts, change the filter and make sure your system is cycling correctly. Give us a call today.
Florence HVAC Experts
Florence, SC 29501