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Get the Most out of Your Heating System

Posted: January 8, 2015

It looks like winter isn’t being shy about making an early appearance this season. If you’re looking for ways to stay warm this winter without wearing multiple layers of clothing while relaxing on your couch, here are a few ideas.

Sit back and save. At an average cost of $150, a programmable thermostat is a great investment. You can automatically lower the temperature at night or during the day when the house is empty. You save 1% on your annual heating bill for each degree you dial down, as long as the setback period is at least 8 hours.

Upgrade your oil burner. A new burner with electronic controls can pay for itself in just a few years because of lower fuel costs. Less fuel will be used because modern burners will burn your fuel cleaner and operate as much as 15% more efficiently.

Control heat output and save 10% or more. Modulating aquastats or outdoor reset controls can be added to your boiler system. These controls automatically adjust the boiler’s water temperature depending on the outdoor temperature. If it’s not cold outside, your boiler’s water doesn’t have to get as hot, which conserves fuel. There will also be less heat lost through the pipes when your boiler shuts off. Contact Casey Energy for more information on an installation.

Hot tip. Prevent further heat loss by limiting exhaust fan use and closing the damper when you’re not using your fireplace.

Preventive medicine. Studies have shown that only about 55% of U.S. homeowners have their heating equipment serviced regularly. Those who don’t generally experience higher fuel bills and more repairs. Heating equipment that is maintained periodically uses less fuel than units not maintained. Approximately 75% of all emergency repairs can be prevented with regular maintenance.

Close the gap. If you combined all the gaps around windows and doors of an average home, you would end up with a 9-square-foot hole in your wall. Nearly half of all the energy used in a home escapes through that “hole.” To save money, use caulk to fill gaps, cracks and small holes in areas where:

  • A wall and the outside frame of a window or door come together.
  • Floors meet outside walls.
  • Pipes and cables enter your home.

Use weatherstripping to stop drafts around the edges of doors and windows. It’s ideal for older windows, which usually have gaps between the window sash and sill. You can also install a weatherstripping “sweep” at the bottom of doors to block drafts.

Put a caulk in it. Silicone caulk lasts longer than latex caulk, but it generally cannot be painted over.

Contact us if you need more advice or help with saving money this winter!