Saving money on heating costs is a goal for the majority of homeowner’s. While an energy efficient heating and air conditioning system provide the first line of defense for year round savings, ensuring annual maintenance is essential in preventing unnecessarily high-energy bills. Utilize the following tips for staying warm in the winter to assist you in lowering energy costs:
One of the easiest ways to cut the energy bill is by conserving heating and air conditioning throughout the year. Fireplaces can waste a lot of energy, by pulling conditioned air out of the home through the chimney. Make sure the damper is closed when you’re not using the fireplace. In addition, if your fireplace has glass doors, close them when it is not in use.
Exhaust fans will also pull warm air out of the home. Use them only when necessary, and turn them off when not in use.
Inspect around windows for drafts, broken caulk, loose panes, and repair as necessary. If your windows are in need of replacing and you have storm windows, install them until you can schedule window replacement. As a temporary measure, plastic attached to drafty windows can stop the incoming cold air. Thermal insulated curtains are also a solution against drafts and heat loss.
However, these same windows can provide assistance with your heating and air conditioning costs by opening the curtains on sun facing windows during the winter, and closing them against the sun during the summer. The heat from the sun will help to heat your home, although you should close them once the sun goes down.
Inspect the weather stripping around doors and replace cracked, damaged, and warped weather stripping for less drafts and a warmer home. Don’t forget to check the doors fit. Gaps allow cold drafts in, and heat out.
Insulation is a key component of energy conservation throughout the year. Begin with the attic, and inspect the insulation. If the ceiling joists are showing it is a sign to add insulation. Over time, insulation can settle, and adversely affects the insulation’s ability to conserve energy. In the majority of homes, the attic is the easiest location to add insulation.
Unfortunately, adding insulation to exterior wall is a major task, and not typically considered a cost-effective option. However, in certain circumstances, improvements are possible without the inconvenience and cost of removing the existing siding:
• If you are having siding, or siding replacement provided, request foam insulating board behind the siding if it isn’t included. Even minimal foam boarding can up the walls insulation value from R-11 to R-13, reducing your energy costs and the potential for drafts.
• Room additions are a convenient opportunity for improving the insulating quality of at least one area of the home’s exterior.
Seal Outlets and Light Switches
Installing foam sealers to electrical outlets and switches will block the infiltration of drafts. Air leaks can travel through interior walls, creating drafts from plate covers.
Replace Dryer Vent
Dryer vents can be a source of outdoor air entering the home. If the vent is an open design, replace it with a shutter style vent. However, lint can rapidly build up causing the shutter to remain open and create a fire hazard. Make it a habit to inspect the vent monthly and clean as necessary.
Replace Open Roof Vents
If your home has open exhaust vents on the roof, significant air infiltration is likely occurring, especially when the heating and air conditioning system runs. These vents are typically the ventilation pipe for a stove hood or bathroom exhaust fans. Consider replacing open vents for ventilation that includes flaps. They will open when the fan runs, and remain closed when the fan isn’t in use. Self-sealing ventilation will reduce energy costs, and wear on the heating and air conditioning system.
Inspect around intrusion such as cables, wire, pipes, and ducts where they pass through floors, walls, or ceilings. Seal gaps with expanding foam or caulking. Gaps around a furnace flue or gas water heater exhaust will require special, high temperature tolerant sealant.
Heating tends to dry out the air inside your home during the winter. Dry air causes health issues such as bloody noses, dry, irritated membranes, dry, itchy skin and predisposes you to respiratory illness. A humidifier can add needed moisture to your home, and improve health issues while saving energy. Since moist air holds heat, you may feel more comfortable and be able to lower your normal heat setting. A portable humidifier is useful for the area it is located in, but will not assist in the home’s overall comfort. Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning’s certified technicians can install a whole-house humidifier for your home’s heating and air conditioning system.
A ceiling fan can help you to be more comfortable by drawing hot air that collects near the ceiling, down to where it can warm you. This is because hot air rises; gathering near the ceiling where it becomes wasted energy. Almost all ceiling fans have a switch on the side of the motor, controlling the direction fan blades rotate. During the winter, the blades should turn clockwise to pull the warm air near the ceiling down to your level. Use the low speed fan setting to assist you in lowering energy costs. By receiving the full benefit of your furnace, you may be able to turn the heat down, lowering costs and reducing wear on the heating and air conditioning system.
Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning offers you a certified HVAC technician to provide professional heating and air conditioning services for your home or office. To receive the professional repair, maintenance or heating and air conditioning installation you can rely on, call to schedule service. Our experienced technicians serve Katy, Plano, and the surrounding areas, and are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.