Baby, It’s Cold Outside and Getting Colder: 6 Ways to Save on Heating Costs
Temperatures are already dipping in colder climates, and weather experts are warning consumers everywhere to brace for a colder winter than last year.
That means you’ll be paying more to heat your house this winter – and even more if you haven’t sealed it up and/or taken other energy efficiency measures.
If you think energy efficiency steps aren’t that big a deal, the founder of Angie’s List says you should think again.
“The average heating and cooling system accounts for about 54 percent of the average home’s total energy costs,” says Angie Hicks. “Even small things can add up to big heating bill savings – and many of them are jobs you can do yourself.”
Angie’s List, a national resource for consumer reviews on local service experts, including HVAC companies, went to highly rated heating experts to compile 6 ways to save on your heating bill:
1. All systems go? Check your furnace filters each month and replace if necessary. A clean filter distributes heat better and cuts your energy costs. Plus, it’s an inexpensive and easy task you can do yourself. An annual furnace checkup from a reputable heating system expert will help detect and fix small problems before they result in a system failure.
2. Block and tackle: Is your couch or a bookcase blocking a baseboard radiator? Take a look to be sure you have good airflow around registers and radiators to increase energy efficiency.
3. Drafting good for auto racing; not so much for homes: As much as 20 percent of the air moving through the average home’s duct system is lost to leaks and poor connections. Sealing up leaks with caulk, spray foam and/or weather stripping will stop that. Check doors and windows, too and caulk, seal and weather-strip any drafts.
4. Solar power: The sun offers free energy that you can tap even without solar panels. Keep your blinds up and the curtains open on a sunny winter day to absorb heat. Close them up at night to keep the heat inside.
5. Through the roof: Heat rises, which means if you don’t have enough insulation on the ceiling and in the attic, your heat is literally going through the roof. If you can see the floor joists in your attic, you probably don’t have enough insulation. Be sure to get the right R-value for your area.
6. Programmed to save: Use a programmable thermostat to easily adjust the temperature while you’re away or sleeping and save up to 30 percent on your bill, according to Energy Star.
Angie’s List helps consumers have happy transactions with local service professionals in more than 550 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care. More than 1.5 million paid households use Angie’s List to gain unlimited access to local ratings, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine, and the Angie’s List complaint resolution service.