If you want to make some strides in lowering your energy usage during the heating season this year, it’s imperative that you learn some effective fall and winter energy-saving tips. Not only will these tips save on energy bills; most of them also will help keep you warm in your Charlotte area home.
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips
- Call a professional – Your heating equipment should be tuned up before the heating season begins by a professional HVAC technician. In addition to increasing the system’s energy efficiency, you’ll ensure safety, maximize performance, and prolong its lifespan.
- Install a new thermostat – If your home is still using a manual thermostat, it’s time to upgrade. Programmable thermostats allow you to program when your heating equipment turns off and on and at what temperature, providing you with more control and energy efficiency. Consider a WiFi model, which can be controlled remotely from a smart-phone, tablet or computer.
- Replace your furnace – If your furnace is showing its age or has sustained repeated breakdowns in recent years, replacement may be in order. Although replacing your furnace will be a costly endeavor, new systems are much more energy efficient. Look for the Energy Star label to find a furnace that’s been certified for both efficiency and performance. For the highest efficiency, search out an Energy Star Most Efficient heating system.
- Switch to alternative heating and electricity – Many households are realizing the advantages of installing an alternative heating and cooling setup, such as a geothermal or solar system.
- Schedule a home energy audit – The best way to find and address efficiency issues in your home is to hire a skilled technician to perform an energy audit of your home. Once the technician has pinpointed flaws in airtightness and insulation, among other things, he or she can provide you with possible solutions.
- Seal up air leaks – The edges of your doors and windows are common places for air to leak through, which can lead to higher energy bills. Fix these with either caulk or weatherstripping depending on the situation. Also check your home’s ductwork and look for any tears or holes, or joints that may have become disconnected.
- Lower your water heater’s temperature – Homeowners often have a tendency to set their water heater’s temperature at a high temperature or sometimes they’re just installed that way. Not only is this not necessary, but it increases your chances of being burned by hot water. Turn the system down to 120 degrees F.
- Pick up new light bulbs – Traditional bulbs are a thing of the past. It’s time to switch them out for more energy-efficient models such as CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) and LEDs (light-emitting diodes). There are plenty of styles and sizes to choose from, but their biggest advantage is that they only use a fraction of the energy of traditional bulbs.
- No need to raise the thermostat so high – Heating systems don’t care how high you set the thermostat. They’re going to heat your home at the same speed no matter what temperature you set it at. The only thing you’re likely to do is have the heat surpass the temperature you actually desired, wasting energy in the process.
- Change your water habits – Fall and winter energy-saving tips also include cutting down your use of water. One way that should seem obvious is to decrease watering your lawn since you won’t need to do it so often. You can also switch out your shower heads and toilets to the low-flow variety, only wash your clothes or dishes when you have a full load, and shorten your shower times.
- Open curtains and shades on south- and west-facing windows – By letting sunlight into your home, you’ll benefit from natural solar heating. Make sure you close the curtains after the sun goes down.
- Improve your insulation – Many homes are short on insulation, which forces their heating equipment to work harder because the heat isn’t contained. Check the insulation in your attic, basement and exterior walls. If you’re not sure what to look for, seek the advice of a professional.
- Set your thermostat to 68 – One of the easiest of all fall and winter energy-saving tips to follow through with is to keep your thermostat set at 68 degrees as much as possible when occupants are home and awake, then reduce it several degrees when everybody’s out or asleep. This will help control the amount of energy you use on a daily basis.
- Unblock your registers – When registers get blocked by furniture, rugs or other items, your furnace’s efficiency is negatively affected. Same goes for your radiator and baseboard heaters.
For more expert fall and winter energy-saving tips, please contact the professionals at Ross & Witmer. We’ve been serving the heating and cooling needs of Charlotte, Mecklenburg, Gaston, Union and the surroundings area since 1945.
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