Heating and cooling costs can be very expensive. This is especially true for the northern, cold winter states. People can improvise in the summer with fans and individual air conditioning units, but the winter often requires the consistent usage of your furnace to properly warm the home. As we go into the coldest months of the year, it is important to keep a few energy saving tips in mind. Saving on heating costs is not only a benefit for your financial situation, but also is better for the environment. These tips will help you lower your usage, while still obtaining a warm and comfortable temperature in the house.
Lower your thermostat even a few degrees Most home?s furnaces are set by the thermostat. You program the desired temperature in your home. When the house?s temperature drops below that point, the heat turns on. During the summer months, if the temperature goes above a set point, the air conditioning will turn on. Even lowering your thermostat a few degrees can significantly reduce energy costs. Easing back on central cooling by only three degrees Fahrenheit could trim air conditioning costs by 12 to 15%, fans are an efficient way to do it.
Use proper sized exhaust fans Exhaust fans and duct fans are needed to push air out of the home. Without proper ventilation, the vents can get dusty and dirty from everyday debris. This can easily reduce the efficiency of your furnace. The warm air is unable to push into the home as easily, causing it to work more. This increases your energy bills and causes your furnace to run for more hours of the day.
Demand ventilation controls typically reduce the cost to operate an exhaust system by anywhere from 30% to 50% and can be installed on either new installations or retrofitted to existing hoods. The residential or commercial air blower is set up to go through the chimney, for increased removal of the excess debris in the house.
Proper cleanings of your chimney A chimney is a great alternative source of heat in the cold, winter months. Firewood is often cheap and is easy to access. One log of firewood can burn for many hours and effectively heats much of the home, depending on the size of the house. However, using a home fireplace regularly can be dangerous when the chimney is not regularly cleaning out. The chimney soot can build up, quickly turning into a fire hazard. It can also produce a smoky room feeling.
Regularly change air filters The air filters are another important part of the home?s air system. When your air conditioning or heating system is used, the air is filtered through a filter. This filter attempts to block out harmful contaminants in the air. If the air filter gets too dirty or blocked, the heat is unable to make it out of the air vents. Most ventilation systems circulate the air, making the regular cleaning of the vents very important.
In a ventilation system that recirculates air, filters with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating of 17 or higher can be used in lieu of exhausting the air from these spaces to the outside. A higher rating of air filter can reduce the frequency that the chimney or exit air points in the house need to be cleaned out. Although regular cleaning is still recommended, it can reduce the inefficiency that blocked chimneys can cause.
Cold weather is here in many states. Most homes in the northern states have turned on their furnaces to warm their homes. In the next couple of months, you are likely to see an increase in your heating bills. For some, these bills will be affordable. However for others, they will be extremely high and difficult to afford. Finding alternative sources of heat and ensuring proper cleaning and ventilation of air filters and furnaces can help with heating costs. Also, lowering the degrees on your thermostat even a couple of degrees can make a significant difference.