How To Control Winter Home Heating Costs
Keep Cozy Without Spiking Your Heating Costs in the Process
January was tough for most of Connecticut. Back-to-back Nor’easters and a major blizzard made for a cold, messy month—especially for our shoreline customers. And February rolled in with a weekend of ice and frigid temperatures. But this season’s higher fuel costs make the idea of cranking the heat a little less comfortable.
We’ve got some energy-savvy tips that will help keep your home and family warm—while keeping fuel costs better under control.
- Get a tune-up. It’s never too late to schedule seasonal maintenance for your heating equipment. A tune-up keeps your heating equipment running smoothly, so you’ll use less fuel to keep your home warm. Our service technicians check for and fix problems that can decrease performance and efficiency, or could lead to breakdowns, no-heat emergencies, and expensive repairs. If you suspect your system might be on the fritz, let us know as soon as possible so we can get you on our schedule.
- Use your programable thermostat like a pro. When used correctly, a programmable thermostat can help you lower your heating costs by 10% or more. Here’s how: When you’re at home and awake, set the thermostat for 68°. Lower the setting by 10° when you’re sleeping or out of the house. Smart thermostats make it even easier. They learn your heating and cooling habits and create a schedule that matches them. Some even connect with your home automation system like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- Turn down your water heater. Most water heaters have a default setting of 140° but that’s not only dangerous, it’s also inefficient. Reducing the temperature setting to 120° will meet all your hot water needs and save as much as 10% in heating costs. When you consider that heating water—for bathing, dishwashing, laundry and more—accounts for close to 20% of your heating costs, you may want to talk to us about upgrading your water heater to a high-efficiency model that can help you save even more.
- Eliminate drafts. Unless you live in a brand-new home, it’s likely that as much as a third of the air in your home escapes via drafts around windows and doors. That’s like throwing money out the window—or door. Sealing up drafts with caulking, weatherstripping or expanding foam can help save you 20% or more on heating costs moving forward.
- Go solar. We’re not talking about expensive solar panels. We’re talking about free heat from the sun. Leaving curtains and blinds open during the day lets the sun warm your rooms. Closing them at night helps keep the heat in. It can warm your rooms enough that you can lower your thermostat and use your boiler or furnace less.
- Change your filter. A dirty air filter restricts air flow, making your system work harder to heat your home—which uses more fuel and increases bills. The filter also protects your heating equipment from dirt and dust, preventing problems that can lead to a breakdown—and an expensive repair.
- Reverse ceiling fans. Switch the direction of your ceiling fan in winter and run it at a low speed. The blades will gently push warm air that rises toward the ceiling back down toward floor level.
- Control humidity. In summer, we all know the humidity can make the air feel oppressive and warmer than it is. In winter, when running your heating system makes the air in your home feel dry, adding humidity can make it feel more comfortable, and just enough warmer that you can lower the thermostat a tad.
- Cook and bake. In summer, grilling outside and using the microwave are smart ways to keep cool in the kitchen. In winter, simmering a stew all afternoon adds some supplemental warmth—and a cozy vibe! After you bake a batch of cookies, turn the oven off but leave the door open to spread the warmth. But please NEVER use your oven or stove as a supplemental heat source.
- Invest in new equipment. If your boiler or furnace is more than 10 or 15 years old, you may see big savings by updating your equipment entirely. A new high-efficiency boiler or furnace could lower your fuel costs by as much as 20 percent. Today’s equipment operates with improved efficiency, so you burn less fuel to keep your home warm. The same is true of your water heater. High-efficiency versions of traditional oil-fired water heaters employ improved insulation and thermal abilities to heat water and keep it hot without burning as much fuel. Tankless water heaters heat water on demand, rather than keeping a tank of water hot until you need it.
We’re Here to Help You Save!
Over three generations, the team at Casey Energy is always looking for ways to ensure your maximum comfort. We go above and beyond to make sure your systems are running smoothly, your tanks are filled, and we’ll try to help you save money at any chance we can. Our team of trained and certified pros can help you replace outdated systems with high-efficiency equipment that is just right for you, your home, and your budget.
Contact us for more information.