As autumn begins to take the place of summer, it’s easy to think about the long, cool winter ahead. Keeping your home comfortable on those chilly days can cause your utility bills to shoot through the roof. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help keep your utility costs under control, keeping both your home and your wallet comfortable throughout the winter.
One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself in the effort to limit your HVAC costs is to have your system inspected before the most extreme weather hits. A quality inspection will check all parts of your heating system to ensure they are operating efficiently. This is important to keep your system operating optimally, thus ensuring you’ll be able to limit your energy use. Even more important, however, is that these inspections ensure that your heating system will be safe, preventing home fires or gas leaks that could put you in grave danger.
Keep it In
Once you’ve spent the money to heat the air in your home, it’s important to ensure that this heated air stays in your home. Proper insulation throughout your home is a crucial part of this process, as heated air will seek even the smallest gap to escape from your home. Just as important, at least if you have central heating, is to ensure that your air ducts are properly sealed and insulated. If they aren’t, the heated air will escape into your attic or between your walls, leaving you with a high utility bill and an uncomfortable home.
Make Way for the New
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, your best option is to replace your heating system. Over time, the components within a heating system will experience wear and tear, even if they’re properly maintained. Therefore, to ensure safety and efficiency, you’ll need a qualified heating installation contractor to install a newer, more efficient system. It’s important to install the most efficient system you can afford, as the savings you experience will more than make up for the higher cost over the life of the system.
Another great way to save on your utility bills this winter is to allow your home to be a little cooler than usual. At night, cooler temperatures allow your body to sleep better, meaning you’ll be helping your health while saving money. During the day, a simple sweater is usually all that’s needed to make up for any differences you notice when you adjust your thermostat a few degrees. Typically, you can expect to save up to 3% on your heating bill for every degree you lower your thermostat. That’s savings that can add up quickly.
It’s important to remember that any problems with your heating system likely won’t develop all at once. Instead, they will likely develop over time, meaning they can catch you off guard if you aren’t in-tune with the normal sounds and smells of your heating system. By staying aware of what’s normal, however, you can quickly notice when changes are starting to take place, allowing you to resolve problems sooner, thus saving you money.
Anica Oaks, the author of this post, is a freelance writer and web enthusiast.