Is Your Home Winter Ready?
Here are a few tips heading into winter this year that could help you save in heating costs and energy efficiency.
- Install a draft stopper on your doors- Installing a draft stopper is simple, for less than $8 at your local home depot, you will be saving money in no time. There are applications for your windows as well.
- Lower the temperature setting on your water heater- Lowering this setting can help save some energy, most water heater’s come out of the factory set on 140 degrees F. By simply lowering to 120-125 F and you may not notice the difference in temperature but you will in your bill! Average savings can be 7-10%!
3. Clean your furnace filter- Dirty filters restrict airflow and increase energy use. Simply change out your filters regularly or invest in an electrostatic filter and wash monthly to keep racking up the savings! (Make sure to let the filter fully dry prior to reinstalling.)
4. Try turning ceiling fans on reverse- Some ceiling fans have a reverse switch on them, switching to clockwise makes it warmer. Air pooled near the ceiling is circulated back into the living space cutting your heating costs as much as 10 percent!
5. Adjust thermostat temperature low when you’re out!- For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3 percent of your heating bill. Make it easier with a programmable thermostat. They are widely available for as little as $50, and the average family will save $180 a year with one. Some popular models have an app that allows you to control from your smart phone.
6. Update weather strip or caulk windows/doors- Places where two different building materials come together are often overlooked. Try using the incense test: Carefully (avoiding drapes and other flammables) move a lit stick along walls. Where the smoke wavers, you have air sneaking in and heating or cooling sneaking out. By reducing the heat loss you will save energy, up to 5-30%.
7. Cover hose bibbs with Hard Faucet covers- Installing a hard faucet cover before extreme freezing temperatures take over, can save you from paying expensive plumber cost!
8. Have your furnace serviced- Ensuring your furnace gets an annual tune up can help save up to 5% in energy use. Your HVAC company will make adjustments if needed, lubricate any parts and make sure your filter is changed and/or cleaned. Most HVAC companies will offer a free furnace inspection and even discounted services. To save even more, make an appointment around the end of summer when they are less likely to be booked up. Taylor Heating & A/C, Inc. is offering 50% off diagnostic fee right now!
9. Winterize your sprinkler system- Sprinkler systems must have all water drained out before freezing temperatures arrive or they may risk damage to the system. You can quickly accomplish this task by safely using an air compressor. For a in depth guide on how to do this, click in the link below.
10. Insulate Pipes- Save money on hot water by insulating pipes. By insulating pipes you’re also decreasing the chance of pipes freezing, which can be costly for a plumber to fix. Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch. If so, they are good candidates for insulation. You can pick up pre-slit pipe foam at most hardware stores, cut it to size and fasten in place with duct tape. Ideally, choose the insulation with the highest R-value!