Winter is coming and so are high energy bills. According to the Des Moines Register, your winter heating bill might be 46-96 percent higher than last year’s due to the rising gas prices. It is more important than ever to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Using these tips and tricks you can cut your energy bill while also keeping your home safe.
Prepare and Insulate your Pipes
Frozen pipes bursting is a nightmare for any homeowner. Prevent pipes from bursting by turning the shut-off valve to the ‘off’ position on your outside faucet. This will make sure water isn’t running through the faucet, protecting the pipes from freezing. Make sure any hoses are disconnected and drained. Insulate your pipes with pre-cut insulation foam from home improvement stores.
Insulate and Seal Your Attic
Poorly insulated attics are a major source of heat loss in the home. Warm air rises and escapes through your attic rather than circulating throughout your home. According to Energy Star, insulating and sealing your attic can maintain heat throughout the house. Not only will it save you money, but it prevents dangerous ice dams from forming. Nationwide, homeowners save an average of 15% on their electricity bill when they insulate and seal their attics. The savings increase if you live in a cooler climate.
Winterize your Furnace
Winterizing your furnace not only saves money but also reduces the risk of Carbon monoxide poisoning and fires. The best way to prevent these issues is by maintaining your furnace and having an HVAC expert give your furnace a tune-up twice a year. Not only will this keep your family safe, but it will also prevent issues in the future.
Check your Ducts
Gaps in your ducts will leak air costing you more money. Fortunately this is an easy thing to fix using metal tape or sealant. Despite its name, do not use duct tape to repair leaks in your ducts.
Curtains are great at keeping warmth in and cold out. One of the best ways to use curtains in the winter is to use them at night to keep the warm air in. During sunny days you can save money by not using your curtains and letting the sun warm your house using the greenhouse effect.
Close Doors and Vents in Unoccupied Rooms
Don’t waste money heating unused rooms. Close the vents and doors in unoccupied rooms to avoid paying extra on your heating bill.
Install a Radiant Heat System
Compared to forced-air systems that rely on vents, radiant heating systems are more efficient at maintaining heat during the delivery process. Radiant systems use a network of tubing throughout the home to disperse the heat. Forced-air systems use furnaces to distribute heat through the air making the heat more likely to escape.
Check Doors and Windows
According to the US Department of Energy, heat gain and heat loss through windows is responsible for 25–30 percent of residential heating and cooling energy use. Inspect your doors and windows for places where cold air can leak in. Cracks in the exterior caulk on windows and doors is one of the best places to find leaks. Use caulk and weather strips to fix any leaks you find.
Clean or Seal your Chimney
Chimneys can be a large source of heat loss in your home. Malfunctioning flues and warped dampers let warm air float up and escape your home. Installing a fireplace draft stopper and a chimney cap will prevent air from escaping your chimney. If you’d like to use your fireplace, keep it safe and schedule an inspection.
Research Your State’s Energy Incentive Programs
Whether you’re building a house or making energy efficient improvements to one, check out federal and state energy efficiency programs. Many states offer financing, tax credits, rebates and savings programs for those who want to make their homes energy efficient. Utilizing these programs can help you save money on top of the money you are already saving making your home energy efficient.
We’re Here to Keep You Warm
At Wyckoff Heating and Cooling, we are dedicated to keeping you comfortable all year. Our team of trained professionals can fix your heating/cooling issues while also finding the best solutions for your energy troubles. Give us a call at (515) 287-6000 or schedule an appointment today!