As the winter months roll in, home heating requirements tend to increase. Although this surge in energy usage may provide you with indoor comfort, it can also cause your monthly utility bills to rise. Fortunately, there are ways to stay comfortable during the winter while keeping your energy costs down. Our team at Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating would like to share a few tips with you.
1. Wear Layered Clothing
One of the many perks of winter weather is the ability to wear your favorite sweaters, coats, scarves, and other warm clothing pieces. Along with wearing these items to keep warm outdoors, you should consider dressing warmer while you are at home. This will make you less dependent on your heater to stay warm.
Instead of opting for only wearing T-shirts or thin pajama sets, add a long-sleeved shirt, a wool sweater, or even sweatpants. Wearing cozy or thick socks can help warm your feet and regulate your overall body temperature. Blankets are another great option. Whether you are lounging around watching movies or turning in for the night, an extra blanket, quilt, or covering can help you stay comfy without having to turn up the heat.
2. Lower Your Thermostat
In order to increase energy efficiency, the United States Department of Energy suggests that you set your thermostat to 68 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter. If you aren’t necessarily a fan of temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, try lowering the temperature at night. Keeping the thermostat low at night could provide you with a more tranquil sleeping experience. Because you will likely be sleeping under blankets and a comforter, you may not even notice the temperature change.
If sleeping in colder temperatures doesn’t seem like a feasible idea, you may benefit from lowering your thermostat while you are away. Before you leave for work or for any extended activity, make it a point to change the thermostat to the suggested temperature setting. Maybe you work from home or you aren’t usually away for long periods of time. Each time you leave for the grocery store, run a few evening errands, or go out for a morning run, lower your thermostat. Even these relatively short outings can help you save money over time.
3. Make Adjustments to Your Water Heater
Believe it or not, your water heater is responsible for up to 20% of your energy consumption. The higher your water temperature is set, the higher your utility bill will be. In order to alleviate this issue, you should lower the temperature setting to about 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Because the normal temperature is around 140 degrees Fahrenheit, this temperature decrease would make a significant positive impact on your monthly bill.
Taking quicker showers is another way to save money. You don’t have to make any extreme changes in your showering routine. Cutting back just four or five minutes will make a noticeable impact. You can also insulate your storage tank to prevent excess heat loss. If you aren’t sure how to properly insulate your water heater, solicit the help of a professional.
4. Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks are one of the main causes of unnecessarily expensive heating bills. ENERGY STAR states that sealing air leaks can save homeowners upwards of 20% on their monthly bills. Because air leaks can be somewhat elusive, it’s always best to seek professional assistance when searching for potential leakage points. Leaks can include everything from broken windowpanes and small baseboard cracks to broken electrical outlets and light switch gaps. Attics, basements, ceiling fixtures, and window frames are examples of other potential leakage points. Once all air leaks are located, you should then have them sealed by a skilled technician.
5. Use Your Ceiling Fans
Ceiling fans are often seen as great sources of cool air. So, it’s no surprise that some people choose not to use them during the winter. However, ceiling fans can help to circulate warm air throughout your home. For maximum effectiveness, make sure that your blades are turning in the clockwise direction. Due to the improved heat distribution, you shouldn’t feel the need to raise your thermostat as often.
6. Reconsider Exhaust Fan Usage
After taking a warm, relaxing shower, there’s almost nothing worse than going to look into a mirror that’s covered in condensation. Luckily, your exhaust bathroom fan can take care of this issue. Although exhaust fans offer several benefits, they can also cause heat loss. If you want to retain as much indoor heat as possible, consider using the fans on an as-needed basis. Instead of leaving the fans running for hours, turn them off as soon as the moisture and condensation have been removed. Another way to reduce heat loss is to run your fans at the lowest possible speed.
7. Consider Rearranging Your Furniture
Have you been thinking about rearranging your furniture to give your home a new look and feel? Along with providing an improved appearance, a new furniture rearrangement could save you money. Certain furniture layouts help to promote better airflow and heat distribution. To ensure maximum distribution, make sure that your beds, sofas, shelves, bookcases, and large décor pieces aren’t blocking any of your vents. If possible, try to keep all items about 3 to 4 feet away from your air vents.
Even if your windows are properly sealed, they can still be a source of cold air during the winter. Try to move your desk areas, beds, and couches as far away from your windows as you can. By making these seemingly small changes, you can greatly increase the warmth of your home.
8. Let in the Sunlight
Sunlight serves as a natural heat source. During those days when the sun seems to be beaming the brightest, use this as an opportunity to let the sunshine in. Open your blinds, and pull back your curtains for optimum exposure. However, don’t forget to close everything up once the sun starts to set.
9. Schedule a Furnace Filter Replacement and Tune-Up
Your furnace filter is an important component that helps to trap dirt, dust, and contaminants. When the filter is clogged with too much debris, it can no longer function properly. So, it causes the heating unit to become overworked, which ultimately raises your energy bill. That’s why it’s important to schedule regular filter replacements and furnace inspections. According to the United State Department of Energy, the average homeowner pays over $2,000 yearly on energy bills. If you have your air filters changed regularly, you can save up to 15% on your monthly heating costs.
Your Local Resource for Heating and More
Though it may not seem possible, you can save on energy costs without suffering through the winter. Along with the aforementioned tips, you can also inquire about our Energy Savings Club. This convenient maintenance plan can help you to save money and prolong the life of your heating unit. Heating maintenance isn’t the only service we offer our Texas customers in the Flower Mound and Irving areas. Our options cover the complete range of heating, cooling, and indoor air quality equipment installation, maintenance, and repair for both residential and commercial customers. Call us at Triple A Air Conditioning & Heating today for more information or to schedule an appointment.