Finance, Household & Real Estate

What You Can Do to Keep Your Winter Energy Bills Low

It’s expensive to keep warm in the winter. Heating bills can skyrocket as you try to keep your home comfortable. The more you turn the thermostat higher, the more your consumption increases. How can you keep your energy bills down this winter without sacrificing comfort? Here are excellent tips.

Tune Up the Furnace

A well-maintained furnace is more efficient and will cost you less to operate. An HVAC contractor can give your furnace a once-over to ensure it’s working correctly and at peak efficiency. The tune-up should be done every year, preferably in the fall. At Morris Jenkins, the experts will:

  • Check for any gas or oil leaks
  • Inspect the intake and exhaust pipes
  • Examine the flue pipe
  • Tighten all electrical connections
  • Lubricate the blower motor and any other moving parts
  • Clean the furnace chamber and burners
  • Make sure the pilot light is working
  • Test the thermostat to verify it’s accurate

Change The Filters Regularly

The heating system has a filter that removes airborne particles such as dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air. A clogged filter will restrict airflow and make the system work harder, using more energy. To avoid this, check the filter monthly and change it when it looks dirty. 

Keep a few spare filters handy to replace as needed. When concerned about allergens, opt for filters with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating. They capture smaller particles but may require more frequent changing.

Seal The Ducts

If you have a forced-air heating system, there’s a good chance that some air flowing through the ductwork escapes into crawl spaces or the attic. To prevent energy loss, have the ducts inspected and sealed by a professional if necessary. This simple measure will improve the efficiency of your system by as much as 20 percent.

As you carry out this work, ensure the vents and registers are away from furniture or drapes. Blocking them will make it difficult for warm air to circulate through the home, making the system work harder.

Use A Programmable Thermostat

With a programmable thermostat, you can set the temperature according to a schedule. Turn the heat down when you leave home or go to bed. Most models allow you to program different settings for weekdays and weekends.

Newer models can easily be controlled remotely with a smartphone or other device, making adjustments no matter where you are. If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period, set the temperature lower and save on energy costs.

Check the Insulation

Good insulation keeps your home warm in winter and cools it in summer. If you have an older home, there’s a chance that the insulation has degraded over time and needs a replacement. Check the attic, crawl spaces, and other areas with insulation and add more if necessary.

Weatherstripping and Caulking

Air can enter your home through gaps around doors and windows. To prevent this, check for holes and cracks and seal them with caulking or weatherstripping. This reasonably easy DIY project can make a big difference in keeping your home energy-efficient. If the windows are old, replace them with energy-efficient models with low U-factor. This measures how well a window prevents heat transfer.

The Effort Will Eventually Save You Money

Keep improving energy efficiency by taking these essential measures. You’ll save money on utility bills and create a more comfortable living environment. When you use less energy, you’re also protecting the environment. Call a reliable technician immediately if you have questions or need help with furnace maintenance.