March 3, 2014
Winter is not over yet. If this winter’s cold weather resulting in high bills left you frozen in your tracks, here are 10 ways to lower your energy bill.
The low hanging fruit: free, easy fixes that work.
1. Turn down your thermostat 10 degrees when you go to work, and again when you go to bed. Lowering your thermostat for 16 hours per day will save you money.
2. Minimize kitchen and bathroom fan use. When they have done their job, turn them off. In just one hour, these fans can expel a whole house of warm air, making your furnace work harder.
3. Limit the use of the fireplace. As heat rises, fires actually suck heat out of a room. When the flu is open, it is basically a hole in your roof. And when you are not using the fireplace, of course, make sure the flu is closed.
4. Turn down your water heater to between 115 and 120 degrees. According to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, lowering the temperature of your water heater reduces power use without much of a noticeable difference to the user.
5. Keep vents unobstructed of furniture and floor coverings. This will allow the heated air to circulate properly.
The middle hanging fruit: low cost fixes that work.
6. Reduce air leaks by using weather stripping in doors and windows. A few small gaps in multiple doors and windows can add up to one big hole in the wall, allowing your warm air to escape.
7. Change or clean your air filters every 3-6 months. Clogged air filters make your furnace run hotter and work harder.
8. Buy an annual service contract for your furnace. Keeping your furnace in good condition will allow it to run at it’s optimum efficiency. See our service and repair page on our website for more information on service contracts.
9. Make sure your insulation is in good shape and well placed. Most warm air escapes through the roof, so make sure your attic is well insulated.
The apples on top: bigger ticket investments that can save you money in the long run.
10. Replace the furnace. Older furnaces can burn energy faster and cost more to run. Think about replacing your old furnace for a new, high efficiency furnace. In the long run, it will save you money. See our heating and cooling systems page for more information.
For more information, here is a nice energy saving guide from the US Department of Energy.