Heating bills can get expensive, especially if there’s a cold or long winter in Norcross, Georgia. Fall is quickly approaching, and if you didn’t like your heating bills last winter, you should do something about the contributing factors that are raising your heating bills. But first, you need to figure out why your heating bill might be higher than what it should be and what you can do to alleviate your problems. The following are some of the most important tips to keep in mind when you’re trying to figure out which upgrades to make so that your home stays toasty inside without completely burning through your energy budget.
Check Your Attic Insulation
If you saw ice dams on your roof last winter, there’s a good chance that you don’t have a sufficient amount of insulation in your attic. Ice dams occur when the heat from the house rises and melts the snow on the roof. But because it’s still cold outside, it quickly refreezes, creating a dam of ice. You can easily get rid of ice dams, which can be harmful to your roof, by ensuring that you have plenty of insulation in the attic. This can also cut down on your heating bill by hundreds or even thousands of dollars throughout the course of many years.
Insulate the Walls and Basement Floors
You might be surprised to learn that a lot of your heat loss is actually occurring through the walls if you have a wooden house instead of a brick one. Additionally, another large chunk of heat is lost through the basement. Some homes have insulation between the inner and outer walls to reduce the amount of heat lost, but many houses don’t have any kind of insulation in the basement. If you’re not entirely sure where you’re losing heat, you can get a home energy efficiency inspection. There are numerous types of insulation materials, and a home energy inspector can help you figure out where you should put your money by determining where you’re losing the most amount of heat.
Seal of the Windows and Doors
Even though the majority of heat transfer isn’t through the windows and doors, by putting some weather stripping between some of these areas, you can still save yourself potentially hundreds of dollars. If the weather stripping around the bottoms of windows is either missing or just cracked and worn out, then you should take the time to replace them.
Use Your Ceiling Fans
If you have a house with tall ceilings, there’s a good chance that all of the heat in some rooms is at the top, making rooms feel cold even when you’re running the furnace. Heat rises, but you can’t enjoy the heat if it’s all at the ceilings. This is a good time to use the ceiling fans in your rooms. Most people think of ceiling fans as a way to cool off in warm weather, but they actually have a couple of functions. When it’s summertime, the blades should turn counterclockwise to create a direct breeze down, which will feel cooling. But in the winter, the blades should turn clockwise so that there’s an updraft that causes air to ricochet off the ceiling, subsequently forcing the heat to bounce off the ceiling, too, until it’s temporarily forced down where you can enjoy the heat.
Let the Sun Warm Up Rooms
It might not seem like some sunshine can warm up a room, but you would be surprised at how much warmer a room might be in the winter if you open the shades and curtains to let the energy from the sun come in through the windows. Then, at night, you should close the curtains and shades to keep as much heat inside the house as possible.
Lower the Temperature at Key Times
You want to be at a comfortable temperature when you’re at home, sitting on the couch and watching your favorite show on Netflix, but there are times when the house doesn’t need to be that warm. For instance, when you’re gone for work, you don’t need the house to be a comfortable 71 degrees. While it takes some extra energy to warm your house back up just before you get home, letting your house cool down to the low 60s can make a dramatic difference in how much you spend on heating. Additionally, you don’t need your house to be as warm when you sleep as it is when you’re moving around during the day. Most people sleep better when they’re slightly cold, and you’re under blankets to keep your warm. If you turn the temperature down during the night, the worst thing that could happen is that you have to get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night and experience a couple of minutes of being cold. In fact, you can even program a smart thermostat to turn the heat back on half an hour before you plan on getting up for the day.
Usually, when we arrange furniture in the room, we’re thinking about how the room looks or how easy it will be to work in the room. Unfortunately, we should also be thinking about how the airflow will be, and we don’t always do this. If you have couches blocking floor or low wall registers, or if you have a tall bookcase blocking a register near the ceiling, you need to rearrange your furniture so that the forced air can easily escape the duct system.
Change the Filters
You need filters on your HVAC system to trap dust so that it doesn’t get in the ductwork, furnace, and the air that you breathe. When your furnace has to push air through a dirty vent, it will have to work harder than it would if your vent was clean, which causes your home energy costs to rise. You can reduce the amount of money that you have to spend on your heating costs by changing out the filters about every three months or whatever your furnace recommends.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifying the air in your home isn’t just good for your nasal passageways and skin; it’s also a great way to make the air feel warmer. Just like in the summertime, our bodies cool by sweating, and if the air is humid, the moisture won’t evaporate off of our skin as quickly.
Look at Replacing Your HVAC System
Older systems are less efficient than newer ones that have been specifically designed to work in your home. While no one wants to spend the money to get a new furnace and other HVAC equipment, it might be your best option if your system is older and you’re having a lot of breakdowns, anyways.
Contact us at Bardi Heating, Cooling, and Plumbing in Norcross for more information about reducing your energy cost as well as taking advantage of our other services. Not only do we perform installations, repairs and maintenance on HVAC systems, but we also install water heaters and tankless water heaters. Give us a call today!