Are you dreading winter? Or just the increased heating costs? According to the EPA, heat is one of the largest utility bills homeowners face, averaging around 40% of a typical home’s utility expenses. Follow these five easy steps to help stretch your home heating costs farther, without compromising on your family’s comfort:
This tip isn’t about solar energy—although it is worth mentioning you can significantly cut your utility costs, including your electric bills, by investing in renewable energy for your home. If you haven’t yet made the switch to solar energy, you can still take advantage of “passive” solar design. Open the shades on sunny days to let the sun warm your home. Close them again as the sun goes down in order to insulate the window and retain the day’s heat. A small investment in “thermal” curtains or blinds can add even more insulation to windows, keeping the warm air in and the cool air out. As a bonus, thick thermal curtains also cut down on unwanted light or noise at night. Use them in the summer as well, to help block unwanted heat and keep your air conditioning indoors.
Take Control of Your Controls
Are there thermostat wars in your house? You’re not alone. According to EnergyStar, turning the thermostat down by 5-10 degrees overnight can save up to 12% on your heating bill. If you can, consider adding an extra blanket on the bed and turn the heat down while you sleep.
An easy way to take advantage of savings without constantly fussing with the thermostat is to install a smart or learning thermostat, which can work automatically to optimize your heating efficiency without sacrificing comfort or leaving you chilly. Most models also have Wi-Fi capacity and app control, so you can keep an eye on your usage (and control it remotely) even when you’re away from home. Not sure what setting or what model would be a good fit for your needs? Check with your JK technician at your next service appointment and they will be happy to discuss your options.
Clear Those Vents
Make sure you and your family can actually feel the heat you’re paying for. Check the supply and return vents throughout your home to ensure they are clean and unobstructed by dust bunnies, furniture, storage, or decorations. For optimum airflow, we recommend at least 18 inches of clearance around your supply or return grilles.
Schedule Your Regular Maintenance
Depending on the type of equipment you have and the age of your equipment, JK technicians typically recommend getting professional maintenance done on your HVAC system 1-2 times per year. (For most manufacturers, once per year is the minimum required to maintain your equipment warranty.) According to a study from the National Center for Energy Management, professional, regular preventative maintenance can reduce HVAC energy costs by at an average of 15 – 20 percent per year!
Bonus Tip: Is your heat pump or furnace more than 15 years old? It may be reaching the end of its lifespan. While this isn’t a quick fix, upgrading to a new, higher-efficiency model can offer a lot of savings on your monthly heating bills all while offering better, more reliable comfort. Click here to contact us and request your free, no-pressure appointment with one of JK Mechanical’s experienced Comfort Consultants. Financing options are available to help make your new investment more affordable.
Add a Humidifier
In the summer, we talk about removing indoor humidity to help you and your family feel cooler, and spend less on air conditioning. The reverse is true in the winter: because water holds heat, adding humidity to the air can help you feel warmer, and thus less likely to spend on overheating your home. As a bonus, properly-humidified air has other benefits, including easing sinus troubles and reducing staticky air.
Want to learn more about smart energy solutions and heating your home efficiently this winter? JK Mechanical’s technicians are here to help. Give us a call or contact us below to learn more.