AWith winter right around the corner, cooler temperatures have already settled in in some parts of the country. You may have already started getting some good use out of your heater, and with that comes higher heating costs. Higher than normal heating costs could be a sign that something is amiss and warrants further investigation. Here are some tips to cut heating costs this winter.
Get an Energy Audit
An energy audit is performed by a specialist and includes a series of tests to demonstrate the overall efficiency of your home. Once the audit is completed the specialist will make recommendations on how your home can be more efficient. These recommendations will vary from low cost improvements like weather stripping to larger energy efficient upgrades like triple pane windows. Audits usually cost between $250 and $400 but can be offset with a rebate if your set one up through your utility company. This is a good place to start to help you cut heating costs this winter.
Check for Air Leaks
Air leaks can make an impact on how efficient your home is causing cool air to penetrate and warm air to escape. This causes your heater to work harder to maintain the temperature. Air leaks can exist in obvious places like around windows, door jams, around the foundation, and through attic and crawl spaces, but small air leaks around electrical outlets and water supply apertures can also make an impact. Aside from cold air infiltration your home, holes also provide an entry point for unwanted house guests like vermin, rodents, and bugs. Repair air leaks right away you may also consider installing weather stripping around windows and doors. This will help cut heating costs this winter and help make your home more comfortable.
Fireplaces are wonderful for creating ambiance and also can help heat a room. Unfortunately they can also be a source for energy waste as warm air
is sucked right up the chimney and out. If not in use make sure you have airtight glass doors installed or a chimney-top damper installed to prevent warm air from being sucked right out of the room. Air tight doors are a good option if you frequently use the fire place, and while they will have a higher cost it will be a good investment in the long run.
Adding insulation in areas like the attic can also help cut heating costs this winter. Depending on the age of your home, your home could be under insulated. An under insulated home will allow warm air to escape and cool air to penetrate which will cause your heater to work twice as hard to maintain the temperature. You may also want to consider installing insulated curtain over windows to help keep warm air in.
Have Heater Inspected
An inspection on your heater is really important in maintaining the efficiency of your heating system. An inspection will ensure that everything is in proper working order, all the mechanical pieces are cleaned and replaced if need be, everything is oiled up, there are no gas leaks, the thermostat is working properly, and the filter is changed. Replacing the air filters once a month during heavy usage is also a good idea to help keep things running efficiently. Scheduling your inspection is easy to do and you can even set up an annual service agreement which makes things a lot easier. Aside from making sure this maintenance gets done to help cut heating costs during winter, an annual inspection can also help protect your warranty. Schedule your heater inspection today!