A toasty home is welcomed when escaping chilly weather. Less welcome are the heating bills that can come with keeping that abode cozy. By taking a few preemptive steps, however, it is possible to optimize energy usage, get the most from your heating system, and still live comfortably.
Seal up your home – Keep cold air from seeping into your home. Insulate windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulking. Capture natural heat by opening curtains on south-facing windows during the day and close them when the sun goes down to keep the warmth inside. If feasible, consider replacing old windows and updating insulation with newer more efficient versions that will make your home both more comfortable, and cut down on heating bills.
Make sure your heating system is working properly – Test your heater in advance. Consider scheduling a service check up with an American Standard Comfort Care Specialist to assure it’s running at its best. Keeping your furnace clean, lubricated and properly adjusted can save about five percent on heating costs. A pro can assess your system, suggest any repairs it might need, and make sure you are ready before the coldest temps arrive.
What thermostat setting is best? – Agreeing on where to set the thermostat isn’t easy. To save money, set it as low as possible while still maintaining a comfortable temperature, usually between 65 to 70 degrees. If you aren’t home during the day, consider lowering it even more. And if your household can manage it, lower your thermostat by 10 to 15 degrees at night to sleep comfortably while saving on that utility bill. Compromise with the family by placing warm throw blankets on the couch, adding layers of bedding, and investing in fuzzy socks.
Replace your filter – A dirty HVAC filter restricts air flow and increases energy usage as your system works harder to push air through it. Replace or clean filters once a month when the system is being used most to ensure that air can pass through freely.