The Heat is ON!

With the season comes colder weather and more cold toes calling for warmth.  Though, we try to ride out autumn for it’s ups and downs of temperatures, at some point you hit your breaking point.  Let’s just call it like it is…The Heat is On!

Whether you rent or you own your home, utilizing energy saving tips will also save you money.  Future generations, environmentalists: novice and advanced, and of course your pocket book will thank you.

Heating your home usually makes up about 48% of your utility bill, energy and dollar wise.   When utilizing your central heat and air, one of the best, economical investments is a programmable thermostat.  Being able to set your thermostat accordingly for different times of the day will save you time, energy and money.  A good rule of thumb is to keep your thermostat as close to the outside temperature as possible since it takes less effort from your heating/cooling system to maintain the temperature.  Of course, the object of heating and cooling your home is to keep you and your family comfortable as well, so finding a balance to this rule of thumb is key.  Other great tips to save energy and money while using your staying warm:

  • Lower your thermostat every time you leave the house.
  • Set your thermostat to 60 degrees during the winter if you are going on vacation.
  • Never turn your thermostat off. Raising or lowering the temperature too quickly uses too much energy therefore spikes your energy bill.
  • Change your filters every 30 to 45 days for maximum efficiency.
  • Properly maintain and upgrade your equipment as necessary. Select energy-efficient products when you buy new heating and cooling equipment.
  • Set your thermostat fan switch to “auto” to save energy. Leaving it in the “on” position keeps air running constantly.

Of course, having and utilizing optimum heating and cooling equipment to the best of your ability is a great step forward in the balance of making your home comfortable and saving energy and money.  Looking at the whole house, though, including your habits will get you even further.

In the colder months:

  • Covering all bare floors with area rugs will assist in retaining heat as well as adding extra comfort.
  • Close the flue in your fireplace when not in use and install glass doors to keep in the warm air.
  • Running portable heaters regularly can be very expensive.  Limit your use of portable heaters to only when needed to temporarily heat a small area.
  • Make sure your air vents, baseboard heaters and radiators are cleaned regularly and are not being blocked by curtains, rugs or furniture.
  • Leave window shades or blinds open during the daytime.
  • Consider using solar heat to supplement your normal heating source.
  • Run your ceiling fan on low speed in the clockwise direction.

Take it a step further by contacting your local energy company to complete an energy efficiency evaluation.  They can offer personalized tips to make your home more energy efficient such as attic insulation tips and checking for household leaks.  According to Energy.Gov, by combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with recommended insulation, air sealing, and thermostat settings, you can save about 30% on your energy bill while reducing environmental emissions.  The bottom line is by saving energy, you save money, period.

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