When the mercury drops and your heating bills increase, are you scrambling for ways to keep your home’s energy bills under control? Without keeping your home at an uncomfortably low temperature, there are plenty of ways that you can keep your heating bills affordable. Below we share our top picks, courtesy of the Environmental Protection Agency.
First, seal up your home’s leaks. Did you know that poorly sealed windows, cracks, door gaps, and insufficient insulation can drive up your home’s energy usage by 10 percent? There’s no use buying a more efficient system if you’ll be losing much of your heat through leaks in your home, so your first step is to seal air leaks, add insulation (especially in the attic and basement!), and, if needed, replace your windows with Energy Star-rated windows.
Check out your duct system: If your home’s heating system uses a forced air furnace or heat pump, then it relies on a duct system to circulate air in your home. If the ducts are leaky, your home could be losing up to 20% of its efficiency. Have your ducts inspected, and, if needed, sealed, to reduce your energy costs.
Mind the air filters. Changing your air filters is quick, inexpensive, and helps prolong the life of your system, as well as lower your energy costs. Check your heating system’s manual for air filter guidelines; some air filters need to be changed every three months—others require more frequent replacement. Additionally, schedule regular maintenance on your system to identify any issues that could lead to later problems.
If needed, replace your system. Systems older than 15 years old or those that have been poorly maintained should be replaced with a new, efficient model. The most efficient models carry the Energy Star rating. Make sure you consult with a HVAC contractor who can advise you on the right-sized system for your home heating needs.
Rely on professional advice. Your home’s heating system is not a wise “do it yourself” project, unless you’re a licensed HVAC professional. Heating systems are complex, and mistakes in choice of equipment or installation can be costly. Work with a company that offers certified HVAC technicians, has a great service reputation, and call sell you a complete HVAC system for your home.
This winter, see your heating bills lowered by taking the time to follow our steps above. You’ll enjoy not only the comfort of a warmer home, but the reassurance that your monthly bill will be an affordable, reasonable amount.
Schedule an appointment with SSI’s licensed and certified heating experts. We will perform a thorough inspection in your home, which includes checking for poor insulation and leaks in your duct system. Additionally, we can recommend the perfect energy-efficient heating system for your home.