Lowering winter temperatures often lead to rising electric bills for homeowners in Maryland. As the temperature goes down outside, our furnaces have to work extra hard to keep our homes warm, and your family happy and healthy. Cooler temperatures don’t have to mean extreme heating bills, however, if you employ a few simple tricks to increase your furnace’s efficiency and decrease your home’s air leakage. Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to keep your family warm this winter.
ELIMINATE AIR LEAKS
Are you paying to warm the outside of your home without realizing it? In most homes, a significant percentage of the air being heated inside the home escapes through windows, doors, electrical outlets, attic doors, chimneys, etc. When the warm air inside the home leaks out, your furnace works extra hard to keep up, costing you extra money with no benefit.
Fortunately, most of these common leaking areas are easy to fix and can end up saving you a boatload over the course of a winter. Windows and doors are a good place to start, since most of the air leaks are coming from them. By replacing (or installing) weather stripping around your windows and doors you’ll be able to stay warmer and spend less money, and best of all, it’s a simple DIY weekend project.
Warm air can also very quickly and very easily escape from your home’s chimney if you have one. Hot air rises, so a chimney is a perfect escape for your much needed heat. While making sure to keep your flue closed when the fireplace is not in use will help, some air will likely still leak out. One solution for this is a chimney balloon, which is inflated when the fireplace is not in use and blocks any air from escaping (or cold air from entering) your home.
Another important place to check for air leaks is your home’s ductwork. If you are unsure whether or not you have possible leaks in your heating system’s ductwork, Cool Breeze can come take a look and help you find and address any issues that may exist.
UPGRADE YOUR THERMOSTAT
Another great way to save on energy bills all year round, whether it be for heating or cooling, is installing a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat allows you to get the most out of your heating or cooling system by running it on a set schedule. If you spend 10 hours a day somewhere outside the house, why does your home need to be at a warm and cozy 70 degrees that whole time? It doesn’t, and a programmable thermostat allows you to lower the heat when no one is home, and automatically raise it for you during the hours you really need it.
IMPROVE AIR FLOW
Airflow in your home will also determine how efficiently your furnace is heating your space. Blocked heating/cooling registers will be less effective, so make sure to keep them clear of furniture and miscellaneous items. Another important thing to consider as the seasons change is which heating/cooling registers you have open and which you have closed. In the cooler months, the heat coming out of your registers will rise, so it is important to have mainly your downstairs registers open. In the warmer months, on the other hand, the cool conditioned air will fall, so opening the registers on the upper floors of your house is important.
UPGRADE YOUR FURNACE
Sometimes, it’s the old, inefficient furnace that is eating up your heating budget. If you are in the market for a new furnace, it would be prudent to consult with a professional on what type of furnace would best suit your home and your heating needs. The location of your furnacecan also greatly impact the furnace’s efficiency. If you are in need of a new furnace, contact us at Cool Breeze today so we can help you evaluate your options.
There are lots of small changes you can make quickly and easily that will help save you money on your heating bill. At Cool Breeze, we are here to help you with all of your heating and cooling needs, and our experts would love to talk with you today about any questions you may have!