Your HVAC system works hard to protect your family from the freezing temperatures in Chesterfield, Missouri. As it does, you may find yourself worrying about your upcoming utility bills. Achieving the right balance between comfort and energy efficiency is one of the biggest challenges for homeowners in winter. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to lower your energy bills without sacrificing comfort.
Turn the Heat Down
Your furnace accounts for a big chunk of your energy bills in winter. Therefore, turning it down is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce your heating and cooling costs by about 10 percent a year if you turn your thermostat down 7 to 10 degrees from its usual setting for eight hours a day.
While you may feel most comfortable in temperatures ranging from the low to mid-70s, consider turning your thermostat down to 68 degrees to save energy. If you find it hard to cope with a significant change in temperature, you can gradually lower your thermostat by 1 or 2 degrees a week. For additional cost savings, turn your furnace down to 60 degrees overnight or when nobody’s home.
If you dress warmly while you’re indoors, you can further lower the temperature in your home and save even more. Wearing a sweater, socks, and fuzzy or thermal slippers around the house doesn’t cost anything. It enables you to reduce your furnace usage while staying warm. Also, place a soft, cozy blanket on your couch or chairs so that you can keep yourself warm while watching television.
You can also lose heat through the floors. Therefore, it’s a good idea to use throw rugs on your tile or hardwood floors to eliminate ice-cold surfaces. Make sure the rugs have a non-slip backing so that they won’t slide and cause accidents.
Repair Cracks and Holes
Small cracks and holes around your house may seem insignificant, but they can collectively contribute to substantial heat loss. Use silicone to fill all the cracks and holes in your walls and around your windows and doors as well as the seam between the basement floor and walls.
It’s important to note that electrical outlets and light switches in your home also allow heat to escape, so you should insulate them. To insulate an outlet, you have to remove the cover and spray expanding foam between the metal box and drywall.
Replace Your Furnace Filter Regularly
Keeping the air filter clean is one of the easiest ways to make your furnace more energy efficient. A dirty or clogged filter can put additional strain on your equipment, causing it to consume more energy. To keep your furnace running smoothly and efficiently, check the filter at least once a month. If the filter is so dirty that you can’t see through it, it needs replacing.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you aren’t using a programmable thermostat, you should definitely consider installing one. This type of thermostat enables you to pre-program your desired temperature settings for different times of the day. As a result, you won’t have to manually adjust your thermostat.
This also ensures that your furnace won’t run at the same temperature setting throughout the day, which can help prevent energy waste. A programmable thermostat can automatically turn your furnace down or off your when you leave your home if you forget to do so.
If you see a sudden and sharp spike in your utility bills, there’s a good chance that your furnace is one of the main culprits. As such, it’s essential to keep your heating system in good condition at all times. Signing up for a preventive HVAC maintenance program is one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your furnace and keep your energy costs low. If you’re looking for a reputable contractor who offers high-quality HVAC services, speak with our friendly representatives at Averill Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us today at (314) 427-3825.
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