Keeping your home warm and cozy during the cold months can be expensive in Ohio. However, there are ways to keep energy costs down without wearing coats and gloves indoors all the time.
Here are 11 easy ways to help keep your home toasty without blowing your budget.
1. Service Your Equipment Annually. Neglected systems use more energy and cost more to run. The easiest and most overlooked tip to save money on heating costs is to have your furnace serviced annually to ensure that it's working at peak efficiency. Maintaining your equipment not only saves money on energy bills but also extends the life of your equipment.
2. Change the Air Filter. A forced-air heating system most likely is equipped with a filter that traps dust, pet hair and other small particles. This filter can get clogged and affect your heating system’s efficiency. Replace the filter at the beginning of the season to help your furnace work better and then once a month, especially if you have pets.
3. Fix Drafty Windows. Windows are a big part of heat loss in the winter. An inexpensive solution is bubble wrap attached to the inside the window frame. Just spray a thin film of water on the window, and place the bubble wrap on the glass. The wrap keeps the heat in and allows sunlight to enter.
4. Adjust Your Ceiling Fan. Switch the ceiling fan so that the blades are spinning clockwise. This keeps the warm air from staying on the ceiling and will keep you cozy.
5. Check for Air Leaks & Fix Them. A major source of heat loss is heat leaks around windows and doors. Just hold a piece of toilet paper in front of your window and door frames. If the paper moves, there is a crack that needs to be sealed. Use weatherstripping to fill the gaps so that the heat stays on the inside. Add foam insulation to outlets to reduce even more heat loss.
6. Add a draft dodger to your exterior door. This will prevent heat from escaping and keep heating costs down. There are many affordable draft dodgers you can buy. They are easy to install and remove when winter is over.
7. Add an Energy Saving Jacket to Your Hot Water Heater. According to the U.S. Department of energy, insulating your hot water tank can save you about $19 a month, Simply touch your water heater. If it feels warm, it could probably use an insulating cover. It is very important to check your owner's manual to make sure your equipment can be covered.
8. Add a Smart Thermostat. Upgrading your temperature controls can help reduce fuel costs. Did you know that for every 1 degree Fahrenheit you turn your thermostat down, you will use 1% less energy. If you reduce your home's temperature by 10 degrees at night while you are sleeping, you will use 10% less energy. A programmable thermostat can provide a fuel savings of 10-30%.
9. Fix Leaking Air Ducts. Air ducts that are leaky or are not insulated properly waste energy and are a big contributor to poor indoor air quality. Metal duct joints need to be sealed with mastic and covered with heat-resistant metal tape. This simple HVAC duct repair can save you hundreds of dollars on your energy bills.
10. Cook Meals at Home. Baking or cooking meals at home can help you save money on restaurant bills and grocery costs but it will also help to lower your heating bill. The heat from the stove or oven will help warm your kitchen. Just leave the door open slightly once baking is complete to let warm air escape.
11. Add Humidity to the Air. During the winter months when the heat is on, the air tends to dry out. Humid air feels warmer than dry air, even if the temperature is the same. A humidifier can help improve your comfort level without increasing your heating bills.
Is it time to upgrade your equipment? Your old furnace may be costing you money. A new high-efficiency model can save you lots on your energy bills. Now is a great time to consider replacing or upgrading your system. Ohio Heating & Air Conditioning has a full line of energy-efficient furnaces starting at just $3,093. Contact us now for full details and see all the options for your home and your budget. We even offer financing options to make it easy to upgrade your equipment.