Residential Heating Costs: Techniques for Cutting Down Winter Energy Expenses

The costs of heating a home during the coldest part of the year can be absolutely disgusting to say the least. Every year homeowners struggle to keep up with increased energy costs and personal home energy consumption. Not every situation calls for a newer more energy efficient heater. In some cases, it is the condition of your home and specific maintenance issues that result in higher amounts of energy consumption. It is often more convenient for homeowners to evaluate their home, make small changes, and obtain contractor maintenance before investing in the installation of a new unit. This can be a very expensive process compared to the many small costs incurred by ensuring the utmost efficiency from the unit.

An unprepared home that allows cold air in from various locations is often the culprit of high residential heating costs. Units that have not been maintained correctly also eat away at your hard-earned money. With a little preventative maintenance, you can drastically cut these costs while obtaining more comfort from your existing unit. A small air leak or worn down heating component can do extensive damage to your monthly energy bill. Three items determine the effectiveness of a heating system in a home. These are insulation, air leaks, and heater maintenance. Each plays a vital part in your homes energy use. You can save a lot of money by making certain that your home is prepared for the colder months. A well maintained unit will save even more.

Increased the Effectiveness of Central Heating Systems

Begin the energy reduction journey by checking your homes insulation. Insufficient insulation is an energy and pocket drainer. When a home has the right amount of protection, both warm and cold air remain in the home. Outside air does not affect internal temperatures as it would when this vital component is lacking. Attics and basements are major contributors to higher energy expenses. In attics specifically, insulation should be at least twelve inches in thickness. Add more if this is not the case for your home. Recommendations vary for additional areas such as the basement, crawl space, and walls. To learn more about how much insulation should be throughout your home, check with the Department of Energy and follow their guidelines for lowered residential heating costs.

Plugging existing air leaks is the next step. Air leaks are detrimental to how well your home retains heat. Central heating systems can be highly efficient and still cost too much if these areas exist. Every air leak increased the amount of work required for your unit to maintain a set temperature. This is due to air entering the home through these locations. Use weather stripping and caulking to reduce this problem. Joists and joints need to be securely connected. Insulation tape may be used to seal gaps. Sheeting can be installed over doors and windows that are not used during the colder time of the year. Other money saving options include weatherproofing the foundation, sealing cracks, and vent block installation under your home. As a final precaution, be sure to have a qualified contractor test your unit each year and perform the required maintenance.


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