Your heating system works overtime during winter. This can increase your utility bills. You’re likely to pay more for heating with fuel prices rising and colder weather forecast this year. Fortunately, you can do a few things to control your energy costs, and not have to sacrifice warmth or comfort.
Here are some suggestions to consider:
1. Adjust the thermostat accordingly
The U.S. Department of Energy says that turning your thermostat to 7°-10°F for eight hours from its usual setting can save 10% annually on heating and cooling costs. Set the controller to 68°F when you’re home and awake. Set it lower when you’re asleep or not at home. A programmable thermostat can ease the transition and allow you to go about your day without manually adjusting the controller.
2. Keep your HVAC system in good shape
Regular HVAC maintenance can prevent problems. It can also help your system run efficiently, providing greater comfort. But you need to do this before winter, because getting heater or furnace repair when temperatures drop can be difficult. It’s peak season for technicians.
Do your part in maintaining your heating system by looking for gaps that let the heat out. You can find them around windows, doors, in pipes, and vents that go through the walls. Check out underneath kitchen sinks, behind cupboards and cabinets, and through recessed lighting units. For most of these problems, caulking or weatherstripping will do a good job of sealing the gaps.
3. Use appliances efficiently
Washing your clothes in hot-water setting can take up 90% of the energy a washing machine uses. Save energy and wash your clothes in cold-water setting. Since cold water doesn’t make the colors run easily, you also save time in separating light and dark items.
Doing a few, simple energy-efficient adjustments may not seem much, but the small things add up over time. And this will lead to lower energy bills.