Consumer Reports has warned that the average electric bill could go up as much as 20% this winter.
With the NOAA predicting colder temperatures and the cost of heating fuel on the rise, how can you stay warm and save on energy bills?
Here are three simple tips to keep Old Man Winter from taking too big a bite out of your energy budget.
#1: Keep the Cold Air Out
Remember that old adage about the value of an ounce of prevention? The saying applies to indoor heating.
The more cold air gets into your home or business, the harder your furnace has to work to warm it up.
So keeping cold air outside where it belongs will go a long way toward keeping your heating costs down. For example, simply repairing leaky ducts can reduce energy costs by up to 20%.
- Open your windows and doors as little as possible.
- Check doors and windows for leaks and seal them. Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you can see the sun shining through or feel a breeze blowing even when the door is closed, you need to seal it up. You can seal windows with an easy-to-install plastic film.
- Make sure your attic has the right insulation; check for proper thermal resistance and thickness.
- Insulate switch plates and sockets with foam gaskets. Insulate your water heater pipes.
- Fill up any holes in your basement, attic or crawl space.
- Close the air vents in any empty rooms.
#2: Keep the Furnace in Good Shape
We’ve all heard that a healthy diet and regular exercise can help you stay healthy.
But a few good habits can also keep your heating system in shape — which makes it less costly to operate.
- Replace your furnace filters regularly for best performance.
- Make sure warm air registers aren’t blocked by furniture, curtains or other obstacles.
- Have your HVAC system and air ducts inspected once a year. By keeping them free of debris, your system will run more efficiently and save you money.
#3: Invest in Smart Thermostat Technology
By keeping the cold air out and your furnace in good condition, you may be able to stay warm and cozy and lower your electric bill.
For every degree you lower your thermostat, you could save as much as 3% on energy, depending on where you live.
A good rule of thumb is to run your furnace at 68 degrees when you’re at home and 60 or lower when you’re not home.
And a programmable thermostat lets you automatically preset when you’d like to raise or lower your temperature — saving you as much as $50 per year in heating costs.
Are you looking for ways to lower your electric bill this winter? Do you need to make sure your furnace is operating at peak efficiency?
Contact us at Complete Electrical. We’ll help you stay warm without spending more than you have to.