Well, we’ve past the midpoint of October, which means that cold weather – and your early season heating bills – will soon be on their way.
If you want to keep those bills as low as possible – and keep your heating system running as reliably as possible, especially when you need it most – try these tips:
- Weatherize – You pay to warm the air in your home, but air leaks around external doors and windows could be sending that heated air right back to the great outdoors. Installing inexpensive caulk and weather stripping around window and doorframes, along spaces surrounding window AC systems and your dryer vent, and other gaps in the exterior of your home is a great investment both comfort and efficiency. It will reduce wear and tear on your equipment, too.
- Reverse your ceiling fans – Ceiling fans do a great job circulating air in your home – the question is how to get it to circulate it in a way that keeps you comfortable in any season. When your ceiling fan is running counterclockwise, air is pushed down to create comfortable temperatures and evaporate moisture off your skin – a great way to cool down during summer. In the winter, you want to reverse the direction of the fan to push rising warm air back down into the room. See your fan’s instructions for reversing the direction of your ceiling fan.
- Change your filters regularly – If you have a forced-air system (one with a furnace and vents), be sure to check your filter regularly – especially if someone in the house smokes, or if you have furry pets. Clogged filters can cut your heating (and cooling) efficiency dramatically; over time, they can even cause the equipment to fail due to unnecessary overwork. Check them at least once a month and replace them when needed.
- Insulate – The majority of homes – especially older homes here in the Northeastern US – are under-Insulated. Energy Star recommends 12-15 inches of good insulation in your basement, attic, and crawl spaces.
- Install a programmable thermostat – Dropping the temperature by 3-4 degrees for eight hours a day can shave 10 percent or more off your monthly heating bill. A programmable thermostat makes it easy to do that, automatically dropping your settings when you go to work or sleep.
- Insulate your water heater – Why pay to heat your water more than once? That’s exactly what you’re doing if you don’t insulate your water heater. As your water heater’s storage tank sits in your cold basement waiting for your next shower or load of laundry, the water within it cools down and has to be re-heated for use. You can slow that “standing heat loss” by insulating your water tank.
- Get routine maintenance – Nothing will help your equipment running better for longer than making sure your system gets a regular annual tune-up from an expert. It’s one of the best investments you can make in your home comfort – one that will easily pay for itself during the course of a heating season.
Want to make an even better investment? Sign up today for an Ace-Robbins Service Plan for your heating oil- or propane-fired heating system. You’ll get a tune-up, priority service, repair discounts and more. Contact us today to learn more!