Tips to Save Money on Your Winter Energy Bills
Energy costs continue to escalate. Making simple changes that save a little bit of energy can pay off big in reducing your heating costs. Here are some tips to follow.
Heating System Service
One frequently overlooked step in winterizing your home is to call your local plumbing and heating contractor to perform preventative maintenance on you heating system. A tune up is money well spent. It will help insure your system is running efficiently saving you money. In addition it can also help to prevent costly breakdowns that require an emergency service visit. Victory’s technician are certified to perform service on all types of heating systems including oil and gas fired systems.
Since your furnace is working more, make sure that you have carbon monoxide detectors near the furnace area and they are working properly.
Keep That Furnace Filter Clean
Changing your furnace filter monthly can also save on your energy bills and there is the added bonus of keeping the dust in your house down. This will promote the air flow and ease the strain on your heating and cooling system to ensure that it runs more efficiently and lasts longer. If you have washable filters, be sure to clean them thoroughly and they generally should be replaced every 5 years. Cleaning the warm-air registers, baseboards heaters, and radiators is also highly recommended.
Consider Lowering That Thermostat
Studies have shown that Lowering your thermostat by 5 degrees can save you 10% on your energy costs. Perhaps a 5 degree drop may be a bit drastic but if you are able to lower the thermostat by a couple of degrees when you are home it will pay off. Consider adding a layer and giving and testing this tip out.
Water Temp Setting
Adjust the temperature setting on your water heater. If you lower the temperature from 140 degrees to 120 degrees, you can save around 5 percent in energy costs. This will also slow the corrosion in your water heater and pipes to operate most efficiently.
Insulate Your Water Heater & Pipes
The water heater tank and hot water pipes can be insulated using pre-formed pieces that can be found at most home-improvement stores. They are easy to install, and can assist in preventing the pipes from freezing as well as lessen the workload of your water heater. The first 6 feet of pipe (both hot and cold) connected to the water heater also helps to avoid heat loss.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat will automatically adjust your home’s temperature to heat only when you need it. You can set it to drop the temperature at night when you are sleeping and during the day when you are at work. It can be programmed to turn up the heat before you awake or arrive home from work.
Remember, don’t lower it too much and run the risk of your pipes freezing. We recommend that you set your thermostat no lower than 58 if you have a well insulated home. If your home is older or you have pipes that are prone to freezing you may have to keep your home warmer.
Water Heater Maintenance
Draining a few gallons from your water heater removes sediment and helps it operate more efficiently. Follow up by draining a quart of water from your water tank every 3 months to continue to remove the sediment that impedes heat transfer and lowers the efficiency of your heater.
Save On Electricity
During the winter months our lights are on longer because of the shorter days so steps we take to reduce our electric consumption can pay off big. Remember to turn of lights in rooms that aren't being used or just leave one small lamp on. Also invest in high energy efficient light bulbs. The upfront cost will be quickly recouped in energy savings.