As predicted, this winter is one of the coldest we’ve experienced in a while. And while it’s important to keep warm, we don’t want you to break the bank doing so. In honor of National Cut Your Energy Costs Day this January 10, here are three tips to help you save on heating:
Get a programmable thermostat. On average, these devices can cut between 10 and 15 percent off your heating costs. And they usually pay for themselves in about two years. Some brands, like the Nest Learning Thermostat™, are designed to learn your preferences and can be controlled by a smart phone or tablet, even when you’re not home. The Nest can also give you a report that shows you how much energy you’re using and when. And it will send you an alert if temperatures are too low or if your furnace isn’t working right.
Change those filters. If you’ve got a forced-air furnace, you’ll want to change the filter every few months—some recommend every month. This will keep it working efficiently and cut costs, and it’s relatively easy to do. Before you start, make sure the furnace is off. Then locate the filter, located in the furnace’s return air vent, and remove it. Be sure to take note of the filter’s size and direction of air flow—both should be printed on the filter. Replace it with a new one purchased online or from your local hardware store or home center.
Seal those leaks. Experts say most of us could cut about 20 percent off our heating and cooling costs by sealing up air leaks in our homes. The tiny spaces around windows and doors are the usual culprit when there’s a problem with drafts. But you’ll want to be sure to check such things as electrical outlets, light switches and ceiling fixtures, too. And don’t forget about plumbing or other pipes that come through a wall or floor, especially if it’s an exterior wall or floor above a basement. Doors can be sealed with new weather stripping. Windows and small leaks around outlets and pipes can be sealed with caulking. And larger openings can be sealed with expandable foam. Your local hardware store will have all of these materials.
From all of us here at Infinite Energy, stay warm and save money.