Homeowners are bracing themselves for higher home heating costs this winter. As colder temperatures approach and heating fuel and electricity prices soar, people are looking for ways to lower their home heating costs and stay comfortable.
Easy Ways to Lower Your Home Heating Bills
There are many things homeowners can do to reduce their heating costs. Many of these tips are free or inexpensive ways to reduce energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
Seal Air Leaks
Sealing your home is one of the most cost-effective ways to lower your heating bills. If the weather stripping around your windows and doors is starting to come apart, replace it with new weather-stripping sealant. Exterior air ducts, plumbing components, and phone and TV cables create small gaps that allow air and pest infiltration. Fill any gaps with caulk to keep your home warmer and pests out of your home.
Adding more insulation may be a good idea. A professional energy audit is the best way to determine if additional insulation is needed. An energy audit identifies areas of your home that could be more efficient. A certified energy auditor can identify air leaks, suggest improvements, and determine if additional insulation is needed.
Seal Heating Ducts
Your ducts will likely develop small leaks over time, allowing heated air to escape. The good news is that it is easy to fix these leaks with metallic tape. You can buy this tape at any home improvement store; it is inexpensive and easy to apply.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
In colder months, your ceiling fans can help save on your home heating bills. Set the ceiling fans to spin clockwise to circulate the warm air that has risen to the ceiling back down. Run ceiling fans on the lowest setting, and you will help keep the warm air where you need it. In the spring, remember to set the ceiling fans to spin counterclockwise to keep rooms cooler.
Take Advantage of the Sun
On sunny days open up your blinds and curtains to get free warmth from the sun. In the evenings, close your window treatments to help insulate the windows and stay warmer. About 30% of heating loss in a home is through the windows. Installing insulated curtains or drapes can help keep the warm air inside, making your home more comfortable.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Depending on the type, heating and cooling systems usually last about 12 to 20 years. It’s essential to have your system inspected and tuned up each spring and fall to ensure it is operating correctly. Routine maintenance extends the life of the system and prevents costly repair bills. Changing your air filter every three months is inexpensive and will help keep your system working at peak efficiency.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Installing and using a programmable thermostat can significantly reduce your home heating costs. Smart thermostats are easy to program to adjust temperature settings when you are away from home or sleeping. If you don’t have a smart thermostat, get in the money-saving habit of changing the thermostat yourself. Lowering the temperature a couple of degrees when you are away from home or sleeping will make a difference in your overall energy usage.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers do more than prevent chapped lips and dry skin. Humid air traps and retains heat better than dry air. A humidifier in your living room and bedroom will help keep your family more comfortable. Optimal relative humidity readings for homes should be around 40%. When your home’s moisture level is adequate, you may be able to turn your thermostat down a few degrees without noticing a difference in comfort.
Lower the Thermostat
Lowering your thermostat by a few degrees can save a significant amount of money. Studies show that lowering your thermostat by just one degree can save up to 3% on your heating costs over a 24-hour period. Experts recommend setting thermostats to 68 degrees in the winter and 78 degrees in the summer for optimal savings.
Dress in Layers
Get in the habit of dressing for the weather. Winter is not the time to go barefoot. You may be able to lower your thermostat and stay comfortable by having a warm throw blanket to cuddle up with while relaxing, watching TV, or reading. Dressing in warm clothing, thick socks, and plush house shoes will keep you warmer and allow you to lower the thermostat.
Consider Replacement Windows
Following these tips will help lower your home heating costs, but one of the best ways to reduce your energy bills is with new replacement windows. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that old windows are responsible for 25-30% of residential heating and cooling usage.
Old, unsealed or improperly locked windows can account for tremendous heat loss during winter. If your windows are old and drafty, it may be time to consider an upgrade. New replacement windows reduce wear on your furnace and air conditioner, helping you save money by improving your home’s energy efficiency. ENERGY STAR® certified windows help lower utility costs and enhance the overall comfort of your home. New replacement windows are an investment that pays off.
Work With a Locally Owned Expert
Banner Construction has been in business since 1993, beautifying homes throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. The only window brands we install are Pella and Simonton windows. These two brands provide homeowners with high-quality solutions that last for decades. Both brands are highly rated by Consumer Reports for their superior performance and durability against the elements.
Banner Construction is proud of our outstanding reputation for excellence in customer service and performance. We have received the Guidemaster Award for Excellence several years in a row. This award is for reliable service and on-time and on-budget performance. 94% of our clients say they are likely to recommend us. Contact us online or call 314-356-9861 to schedule a free consultation.