Winterize Your Home
Winter is coming and that means trouble for your heating bill. Many problems can happen when the temperature reaches below the dreaded 32 degrees, but there are ways to save you and your wallet from suffering in the cold. These ten tips will make your home feel warmer, save energy and even some money.
1. Change Furnace Filters
During the heating season, filters are a must watch! If dirty, filters will restrict airflow and increase energy demand. We suggest you change them every three months, but during these winter months it is not a bad idea to change them once a month. It can be easily forgotten, so making a monthly calendar event on your google account or on your phone to remind you can help a ton.
If you would like to save money in the long run, consider investing in a permanent air filter. Permanent air filters cut out the hassle of changing it out and there are better options than just the regular air filter. Actually, the disposable fiberglass air filters only trap 10 to 40% of debris. An electrostatic filter will stop 88% of debris and multiple airborne illnesses and allergens. They can cost $50 to a hefty $1000. An even better option would be a HEPA filter which can stop 99.97% of debris, according to the Department of Energy Standards.
2. Run Fans in Reverse
Fans are known for cooling you down, but did you know that reversing them can actually warm your home? There is a little switch that can be found on most fans near the other pull switches. This will make the blades run clockwise which will bring the warm air that is pooled around the ceiling back to you and your home. This can actually cut your heating costs as 10%!
3. Turn Down Your Water Heater
Households will usually have the water heater set to 140 degrees. While it seems great to be at the norm, you really do not need to be so hot, unless you want the occasional scald. If you put the temperature to 120 degrees, or lower, it could reduce your water heating costs 6 to 10%.
You may want to check if you are need of a new one or a repair, so check online and see if it is time to replace or maintain.
4. Give Your Heating System a Tune Up
You probably already know that cars need periodic tune-ups in order to run their best. Well the same is true for heating equipment. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5% of heating costs.
Our company will give you a free check-up on your furnace and HVAC to make sure everything is running smoothly, especially with the winter months ahead.
5. Watch that Thermostat
It’s easy to forget to turn down the heat when you leave your home, but doing so is one of the surest ways to save money. Most households shell out 50 to 70% of their energy budgets on heating and cooling, so why pay for what no one uses?
For every degree you lower the thermostat during heating season, you’ll save between 1 and 3% 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.
6. Boost Your Insulation
It may not seem ideal, but insulation is one of the best ways to save energy and money at home. It can make a big difference to add more insulation between walls, and make sure your attic floor and basement ceiling are well covered. Also, check if there are any critters in your attic insulation. They like to hide and dig in it during the cold months.
7. Winterize Your A/C and Water Lines
This one’s really easy, and it will even save you a few pennies next summer as well. Simply drain any hoses and air conditioner pipes, and make sure you don’t have excess water pooled in equipment. If your a/c has a water shutoff valve, go ahead and turn that off. Voepel Property Management will actually do this for you too!
Similarly, make sure any hoses are drained and stowed away neatly, and turn off exterior water spigots. It’s also a good idea to seal any water leaks around the place. Also, don’t forget to remove any window A/C units and store them so you don’t invite cold drafts all winter.
8. Insulate Your Pipes
Pay less for hot water by insulating your pipes! It can also help decrease the chance of pipes freezing, which can be absolutely disastrous. Check to see if your pipes are warm to the touch. If so, they are good candidates for insulation. (Use the same method to determine if your hot water heater would benefit from some insulation.)
You can get 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 practical, which is a measure of its heat-blocking power.
9. Buy a Draft Snake
A draft snake can keep those pesky gusts and winds at bay. They can actually save you from wasting 5 to 30% of your energy usage. It can be as simple as a rolled up bath towel, a buy at your local store or one you made that actually looks like a snake. Make sure you get one with some heft or connects under the door, this will keep it from rolling around from the gusts themselves.
10. Sweater Weather
This may be the cheapest and fuzziest solution to your cold problems. We understand that touching that thermostat will break the bank this coming winter, so grab a sweater and prepare for this weather. A light, long-sleeved sweater will actually give you about 2 degrees of added warmth, while the large and heavy sweater will give you about 4 extra degrees of cozy warmth. So grab your ugly sweater or comfy long-sleeved and warm on up in your cool home.
Temperatures may be dropping but with these tips will also keep your energy bill dropping! Don’t be frozen this winter nor have your wallet suffer, grab a sweater and sit under your reversed fan this season. Also maybe a warm drink may help.
If have any problems with your heating or cooling don’t hesitate to make a work order online or if in an emergency call us at (816) 533-2373.