The cold weather has arrived here in Virginia, and so has the increase in your energy bills required to keep the house warm. Finding ways to slash your energy costs will remain your utility bills under control, prevent system breakdowns, and keep your family warm. Here are a few ways you can save on heating costs this winter.
Manage Your Thermostat
Did you know that if you lower your thermostat setting by one degree, you could save up to 3% on your next heating bill? Lowering by more than one degree increases your energy savings significantly.
Lowering your thermostat while you're sleeping is also another way to save energy. You can set it below 60 degrees, and add extra blankets or a heavy comforter to keep warm. When you get up in the morning, increase the temperature to between 65 and 70 degrees. If you find that you are too cold, you can try adding heavier layers of clothing, such as sweaters, socks, and sweatshirts.
Upgrading to a Programmable Thermostat
Replacing your manual thermostat with a programmable one is another way to save money. It can save you up to 20% on your heating and cooling bills year-round. Here's how it typically works:
Set it to bring the temperature up just before you wake up
Lower it when everyone is gone for the day
Raise it when family members start arriving home
Lower it again at bedtime
Pay Attention to Your Vents and Radiators
Your air vents and radiators are what deliver the heat to each room in your home. You'll want to keep them clean and clear to avoid costly repairs and to keep your home cozy.
When it's time to start heating your home, take a quick tour. Make sure each vent or radiator is free and clear. Furniture and rugs blocking a vent can keep a room significantly cooler than the rest of the house. Also, make sure nothing is placed in front of the radiator, which would block airflow.
While you're inspecting each vent, take a moment also to clean it. Built-up dust can lower the amount of heat the vent or radiator is letting into the room. It helps keep the entire house warmer. Plus, you can breathe easier with less dust floating around. If you want to save time and ensure that your vents are as clean as possible, consider hiring a professional to get the job done.
Change or Clean Your Air Filters
Your heating system is going to work hard this winter. It needs clean air to do its job efficiently. That's why you need to check your furnace's air filters at least once a month during the winter. If it is dirty, replace it. If it's a reusable filter, clean it as recommended by the manufacturer.
Keeping the air filter clean helps keep the inside of your heating system clear of dust. That means it can work more efficiently. Plus, it can extend the life of the entire system. The air filter also traps airborne particles that can aggravate asthma or allergies. Cleaning the filter helps improve indoor air quality.
Seal the Air Leaks
You may be losing up to 20% of your heat to air leaks. Cold air can get into the house, making the furnace work harder to keep it comfortable. The good news is that it doesn't cost much to seal up those air leaks.
Wait for the first cold day of winter. Check each window and door in the house. If you feel an air leak, plug it. Also, check areas of the home where wires, cables, and pipes enter the wall. These are prime spots for air leaks. Feel around electrical outlets. You would be surprised at how much air can get in through such a small opening.
Heating Services in Roanoake
These are just a few ways you can save on your heating bills this winter. If you need help with your heating system, contact Ostrom Electrical Plumbing Heating & Air today. We are proud to serve our neighbors in Roanoke and surrounding areas.