With energy prices rising almost weekly, no matter what method you use to heat your High Point home (except solar and geothermal) it’s sure to cost more to heat your High Point home this year than it did last year.
Here are10 quick tips to help to you save some money, while taking the bite out of the winter chill:
1- Turn down your thermostat when you are out of the home and while you are asleep
- For every degree you lower your heat in the 60-degree to 70-degree range, you’ll save an average of 3 percent on High Point heating costs. So setting it at 65 instead of setting it at 70 can save about 15%! Installing a programmable thermostat that can raise the temperature just before you wake will make sure you are always comfortable.
2- Close off unused rooms
- If you have a High Point forced-air furnace, closing off one 100-square-foot room in a 1,800-square-foot home could save about 4 percent on your High Point heating bill this winter. The thermostat should not be in the room you close off, and no more than 20 percent of the total living area should be closed off.
3- Wash clothes in cold water
- About 90 percent of the energy used for washing clothes is for heating the water – this accounts for 16% of the average household energy bill. Switching your temperature setting from hot to warm can cut this cost in half, and switching to cold can virtually eliminate this expense.
4- Check and repair caulking and weather-stripping
- Do anything you can to reduce drafts in your home, including caulking and weather stripping. If you can pass a dollar bill through the door jamb while it is closed, you need to replace the weather stripping. Seal up any holes or deteriorated caulking that can allow drafts. Energy experts say that weatherizing can save you between 5 and 20 percent this winter.
5- Wrap your hot water heater in an insulating jacket.
- Check the yellow sticker on your water heater that tells you how efficient it is. If it is on the lower end, install an insulation blanket around your water heater (more efficient units will not benefit as much). High Point Water heating is the third-largest energy expense in your home, typically accounting for about 6 percent of natural gas use.
6- Plastic window insulation kits – alternative to new windows
- Plastic storm window kits or heat shrink window film are a less costly alternative to new windows. The extra layer of dead air space helps increase the insulation value of your windows. In the winter, storm windows can reduce your heat loss by 25 – 50%.
7- Install ceiling fans or reverse the direction to improve High Point heating efficiency
- Reversing the direction of the blades pushes warm air down into the room. Fans should turn clockwise in the summer and counter-clockwise in the winter.
8- Schedule an annual tune-up for your heat pump, furnace or boiler. K
- Keeping your High Point furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted will reduce energy use, saving up to 5 percent of heating costs. Sealing leaks in forced air ducts, and adjustments to oil burning units can increase efficiency significantly more.
9- Close off fireplaces when not in use
- When not in use, fireplaces should have the dampers closed. Glass doors significantly reduce heat loss as well. Even when in use, fireplaces allow more heat to escape from the home than they generate (making them little more than a big hole in the wall – a very pretty hole, but a hole nonetheless.) Insulating batts can also be installed to further reduce heat loss when not in use.
10- Insulate attic and unfinished basement walls and joist bays
- When installing insulation, the higher the “R-Value” the higher the insulating value. In existing homes, R-11 is the standard for basements and walls, while most attic areas should have R-30 or greater, when possible. Never compress insulation or matt it down, this dramatically decreases the R-value, and you may as well have bought the lower priced insulation. And always install the paper facing (this is a vapor barrier) towards the heater living space (it may make for more difficult installation, but it decreases the change for moisture related concerns, like mold!) Proper insulation can save as much as 10-40% on High Point heating bills.
Obviously, some of these are more important than others, and you can only save so much. 50-60% is probably as much as you can hope for. Be sure to contact your local High Point Heating contractor to see if they can offer you anymore advice for your home
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