Winter is officially here, despite the mild weather we have had so far this season here in Connecticut and Northern Westchester. But as we know, the cold will come – and with it will come higher heating bills. If you want to keep those bills manageable in the months ahead, here are some suggestions for how to do it.
How to improve home energy efficiency
- Seal air leaks – Gaps around doors, windows and other cavities in your home can cost you air that you paid to heat; it will also cause your heating equipment to overwork to keep you warm, which will eventually lead to avoidable repairs. Installing simple measures such as weather-stripping, door sweeps and caulk will fight air leaks – as will proper insulation (see #5 below).
- Manage temperatures with your thermostat – Using a programmable thermostat to adjust temperatures when you are away from home or asleep could save you up to 10 percent on your heating bills, says the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). When you’re at home and awake, aim for a temperature of 68 degrees for the best balance of comfort and energy efficiency.
- Use the greenhouse effect to your advantage – Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day to absorb solar heat, the close them at night to keep the heat in. Choosing better window treatments can help, too.
- Adjust the temperature on your water heater – Many people don’t realize that the temperature on their water heater is adjustable. Aim for a setting of 120 degrees, which should be more than enough for most hot water applications in your home (most water heaters have a default setting higher than that).
- Install more insulation – Most Connecticut homes – especially older ones – are under-insulated. A one-time investment in proper insulation can cut your energy bills by up to 10 percent every year – enough to offset the cost of installation in just a few of years (remember, insulating helps with home cooling bills, too). Check out these DOE insulation tips and guidelines.
- Reduce hot water use – Did you know that heating water accounts for about one-fifth of your energy bills? Installing low-flow showerheads and aerators will cut your hot water use in half from those appliances with no loss in comfort. Try using the cold setting on your washing machine, too – it will reduce the amount of water you have to heat by 25 gallons or more for every load.
- Invest in preventative maintenance – Professional service is the key to keeping your heating systems and other equipment operating at peak efficiency month after month, year after year. Never skip your heating tune-up!
- Make sensible upgrades – Most of today’s high-tech heating equipment performs significantly better than its predecessors – especially if those predecessors are old or have been poorly maintained. Install a new, high efficiency heating system and you could see your bills drop by 25 percent or more!
Want to find more ways to save in the coming months? Casey Energy can help. Contact us today for expert heating service and heating equipment installation in Connecticut and Northern Westchester!