Wednesday, 23 January 2013
Winter Is Gone, But Your Heating Bill Is Still On Its Way
Winter is an ideal time to find out many ways on how to save energy in your home, since heat losses are much more evident in the cold conditions.
Everything in nature runs in circles and is rhythmical. And so are the seasons: winter, spring, summer and autumn. And so it has been since the beginning of time. Even this year has seen winter come, but your heating bill is still probably on its way.
Did you know that you can really cut down on heating costs by just preparing your house before winter. However, preparing your house for winter does not have to become an annual thing. Do it right once and never do it again, or at least not so often.
There are two words that describe winter: cold air. And, cold air means higher electricity bills. Winter is usually the time of year when your utility bills usually shoot for the sky. Have you ever investigated why this is so? Well, in winter you need to heat your home. It is critical that our home has the right temperature and during the winter we typically turn on our heating system to do this. And because we use our heating system so frequently, this is then usually the biggest contributor to our electricity bills. But all this can be changed, with a little preparation. All you need is the right tools and the right information.
The fireplace – Your fireplace actually costs you a lot of money annually. But repairing and cleaning your fireplace is no major task and with some minor checks you could be reducing your energy consumption. The best thing to do is to endure that the damper is tightly sealed when you are not using your fireplace. A lot of heat (which costs money to generate) escapes through your fireplace and also allow cold air to enter your home, which means that you would have o turn up the thermostat (costing even more energy, i.e. more money). And, if you decide to use the fireplace, make sure to open the damper again and turn down your thermostat for that time. You could save as much as 8% on your heating costs during the time your fireplace is being used.
The furnace – The furnace is a machine. And just like any machine, the furnace needs to be in a good clean condition to work efficiently. One thing is for sure, the furnace will not operate at its best efficiency when the filter is full of dirt. Logically, the furnace will then consume more energy to achieve desired operational point. So it’s simple, just make sure that your furnace’s filter is clean. Read the owner’s manual if you are unsure how to clean the filter, or simply call a handy man to do it for you. When your furnace operates at its optimum efficiency you could save up to 5% on heating cost.
The ventilation duct –Ducts that are leaking air due to small holes in them will definitely result in lost heat. Your ducts should be regularly checked that they are not leaking. You should also make sure to insulate the ducts. Typical duct insulation you can use is R-6 or higher fiberglass. This material should be available at your local hardware store. Leaking ducts put 30% more on your heating bill so it is well worth it to make sure that they are sealed and insulated properly.
The solar heat – This does not mean that you have to have solar panels on your roof. Simply leave your drapes open during the day to allow the heat from the sun to come in throughout the day. This is sure to heat up your rooms without using electricity. But you have to remember to close the drapes at night. This simple trick can cut as much as 10% off of your heating bill.
The openings – Openings on your doors, joints, windows and sills allows the cold outside air inside. Sealant or weather stripping can be used to make sure that these openings are sealed properly. Even though this might look like a small change it will make a considerable difference on your heating bill.
The thermostat – Technology can help a lot nowadays. Programmable thermostats or centralized heating systems have the potential to allow you to save on your heating cost. With programmable thermostat you can set your desired room temperature for any specific time of the day. On the other hand, centralized heating systems give you full control over the temperature in every room. It is interesting to note that one degree difference on your thermostat can make as much as 5% difference on your heating costs.
So there you have it. Some of the areas you can check on to make sure that you do not waste unnecessary energy during winter and possibly also save some money in the process. For more information for ways on how to save energy download my free ebook.
Posted by Wilbert Freimann