With the official start of the holiday season, many homeowners get busy this time of the year—planning vacations, shopping, etc. The last thing many of us think about is our heating bills and how they’ll be impacted this coming winter season.
If you haven’t had your heater maintained yet, now is the perfect time to do so. We actually recommend this service at the beginning of fall, but it’s more important that you have it done consistently than it is the time of year you have it done.
What many homeowners don’t realize is that in addition to maintenance, there are a number of things you can do to boost efficiency, and spend less on those heating bills this season—with some of the following tips costing nothing at all.
Utilize Your Curtains!
In the summertime, you’ll see us recommend that you keep your curtains closed—even that you use blackout curtains—when the weather is at its hottest. This helps keep your house cooler longer in the morning so your air conditioner doesn’t have to cycle on earlier than necessary.
This same concept applies in the winter—keeping your windows open during the day, particularly at south-facing windows, allows the sun in and can keep your home warmer so your furnace or heat pump doesn’t have to cycle on as often.
Use Ceiling Fans
This is another year-round tip you can use—make use of your ceiling fans! Like your curtains, using them in the summertime means your air conditioner doesn’t have to run as often—or at least, you can turn up the temperature by a few degrees. And in the winter, it helps evenly distribute the air from your heater for the same effect.
Upgrade to a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Are you still utilizing an old, manual slider thermostat, or a basic digital thermostat with no programmability features? If so, you’re losing out on efficiency benefits. Using a programmable thermostat means your heater (and air conditioner) will only cycle on when you have the predetermined temperature settings on it. So, there’s no need to run your heater at full force when you’re not home.
Check Your Air Filters
There are many homeowners that don’t realize this, but the air filters that come standard with your furnace or heat pump are not actually there to protect your indoor air quality. Instead, they are there to protect the HVAC system itself from dust, dirt, and other debris that can infiltrate its components and cause it to wear down faster, potentially even breaking down.
You should be checking your air filters every 1-3 months, depending on the type of filter and the level of contaminants in your home. Changing the filter is relatively simple, and something you can do on your own as a homeowner. If you need any assistance, however, please feel free to reach out to our team.
Ensure Your Ductwork Is in Good Shape
Did you know you could be losing up to 30% of the conditioned air from your furnace or heat pump through ductwork breaches? That’s air that you are paying for! This is, of course, extremely inefficient. If your ductwork is old or even if you suspect it may have tears or leaks, give our team a call so we can take a look and determine if you need duct sealing, repair, or replacement.