With the winter months upon us, you’re bracing yourself for cooler temperatures. While Gulf Coast winters are mild compared to other parts of the country, we do experience sporadic temperature fluctuations that can cause your energy bills to rise. Here are five things you can do that will make a big impact on your heating bills this winter.
#1 Program Your Thermostat
One of the easiest things you can do to save money on your heating bill this winter is to make sure your thermostat is programmed correctly. It’s recommended to set your thermostat to 68° when you’re awake and at home. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on your heating costs by setting your thermostat 7°-10° lower than its normal setting for 8 hours a day. Think about your family’s schedule, and when everyone’s asleep at night or when your house is empty, lower the temperature. Program your thermostat to go on and off automatically and watch your energy bills drop this winter.
#2 Maintain Your Furnace
Proper yearly maintenance on your furnace will not only ensure it runs smoothly all winter, but it’ll keep it working efficiently too. Having your furnace inspected by a qualified HVAC company like Coastal Mechanical Contractors will prevent common issues and make sure your system is running at peak efficiency. It’s also important to regularly check your furnace air filters. A dirty air filter can limit airflow, make your furnace work harder than it needs to, and negatively impact your indoor air quality. Your furnace’s manual will tell you what type of filter to use, how often to replace it, and instructions for installation.
#3 Seal Up Leaks
Heat loss due to air leaks around your home is one of the biggest causes of high energy bills. Common areas to look for cracks or gaps include:
- Outdoor faucets
- Door and window frames
- Attic hatches
- Electrical and gas service entrances
- Dryer vents
- Fans and vents
- Weatherstripping around doors
- Recessed lights
- Anywhere different building materials meet on the outside of your house
Add weatherstripping or caulk wherever you find a gap or crack to eliminate any heat loss, reduce the amount of wasted energy, and keep your family comfortable all winter.
#4 Lower water temperature
After your furnace and air conditioner, your water heater uses the second biggest amount of electricity in your home. An easy way to lessen the cost is to keep your water heater set at 120°. Anything warmer than that is unnecessary, potentially dangerous, and can increase mineral buildup and corrosion in your heater and pipes. For every 10º that you lower your water temperature, you’ll shave 3%–5% off your water heating costs.
#5 Upgrade Your Light bulbs
Switching out your old light bulbs for energy-efficient LED, CFL, or halogen incandescent bulbs can put a dent in your electric bill year-round. Not only do they use around 25%-80% less energy, but they also can last 3-25 times longer. While the initial cost of energy-efficient bulbs is higher than traditional incandescents, they cost less to operate, and you won’t need to replace them nearly as often, which makes them a great investment. If you replace the bulbs in the five light fixtures you use the most, you can expect to save $75 each year, according to the Department of Energy.
Professional service you can trust
You can trust all your heating needs this winter to Coastal Mechanical Contractors. At CMC, we’ve been helping homeowners in Southern Louisiana since 1965, so we have the experience to service or repair any issue your furnace may have. Contact us today for a quote or to schedule an appointment.