Lower Your Heating Bills: 7 Home Energy Efficiency Tips
September 27th, 2011
September 27th, 2011
As the weather starts to get cooler, you’ll soon be turning on the heat in your home. By making sure your home is energy efficient now, you’ll save money before winter heating bills start to arrive in your mailbox. Here are seven suggestions to make your home more efficient before temperatures start to drop:
1. Schedule a home-energy audit
If you’re not sure where your home’s biggest energy problems are located, a professional energy audit can help you figure out the most cost-effective measures to improve your home’s comfort and efficiency. Check with your utility company or the state’s energy department to determine if they offer home energy reviews. Sometimes you can get an energy audit for free or with a rebate. Or, they can provide you with the names of reputable energy-audit firms. A good inspector will perform a thermal-imaging scan to determine where heat is escaping and a blower-door test to see where air is coming in through cracks.
2. Install a programmable thermostat
While you could just lower your thermostat whenever you’re gone or of a night while you’re asleep, it’s easy to forget to do this. Therefore, by installing a programmable thermostat, your heat will be adjusted automatically. A programmable thermostat can save the average family about $180 a year.
3. Clean or replace furnace filters
Your furnace will run more efficiently if you clean or change the air filter each month during the heating season. Plus, you’ll save money. Mark your calendar so you don’t forget, or switch to a permanent electrostatic filter which can trap about 88% of dust and debris in your home. If members of you family suffer from allergies, a HEPA filter can remove 99.97% of airborne particles.
4. Have your heating system tuned up
Like a car, your heating equipment runs better with periodic tune-ups. Check with your utility company to see if they offer free annual inspections by qualified technicians. Also some furnace manufacturers and dealers may offer free or discounted tune-ups. By having your furnace cleaned, lubricated and properly adjusted, you can save up to 5% on heating bills. If you need to have your furnace replaced, make sure you take advantage of federal tax credits.
5. Turn down your water heater
By lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees F (or lower), you can reduce your water heating costs by up to 10%. Plus, you reduce the risk of scalding accidents, especially in homes with children. If your water heater dial says “low,” “medium,” and “high,” instead of specific temperatures, you should set it somewhere between low and medium.
6. Use caulking and weatherstripping
Leaks in your home can lower energy efficiency by 5% to 30% a year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Therefore, caulking and weatherstripping can save you money on your heating bills. Places to look for leaks include: under doors, around windows, around chimneys, around can lighting fixtures, where pipes or wires exit your home, and along the foundation.
7. Install energy-efficient storm doors and windows
By installing a storm door, you can increase your home’s energy efficiency by 45%. Plus, these doors can let in light and ventilate your home in warmer weather. Additionally, you can save energy by installing glass storm windows or do-it-yourself plastic-film storm windows to keep out the cold.
By following these tips, you should save money on your home heating bills. However, if your home energy audit reveals you need major home renovations, like a new furnace, water heater, and/or windows and doors, you may want to consider taking out a remodeling loan to finance these purchases. Grandview Lending can work with you to see if you qualify for a home improvement loan.
We provide our clients with exceptional service and integrity which has become our hallmark.