As the number on the thermometer goes down, the number on the heating bill goes up, of course, making deep winter a chilly time for the wallet as well. There are several actions you can take to help minimize your heating costs, and the good news is you can start today!
Mind the Thermostat
One of the easiest ways to save money is to pay attention to your thermostat, although “the lower the better” is not always the case. We typically recommend customers set back their thermostat 2-3 degrees for periods of time the house is unoccupied or your family is asleep for less than 12 hours. This allows the system to run less frequently and therefore saves energy.
A larger setback is more appropriate for times when the house will be unoccupied for long periods of time. Bumping the thermostat down anywhere from 8-20 degrees can save significant energy costs when you’re leaving for the weekend, taking a week-long vacation or spending the winter in the South.
In North Central Ohio, the typical heating system is designed for 5-7°F. When outdoor temperatures are at or below these levels, your system needs all the help it can get to keep up, so it is our recommendation to avoid setting back your thermostat during extreme temperatures unless you will be away for significant periods of time.
Change the Filter
You can increase your heating system’s performance, and save money as a result, by replacing the filter regularly. A clogged filter forces your system to work harder as it tries to pump air through trapped debris. The team at This Old House suggests changing out the furnace filter at least once every three months, with more frequent changes for houses with pets, allergies, or young children. A clean filter is not only better for your heating bill, but for your health.
Close the Fireplace Damper
Whether you use a wood burning or gas log fireplace during the winter season, cozying up to a fire is one of the highlights of the season. Just remember to close the damper when you are done, as thousands of BTUs worth of precious heat can escape through your open chimney when not in use, causing your heating system to run longer and harder than usual.
Invest in an Efficient Furnace
The furnace itself is at the foundation of your house’s heating efficiency. If your furnace is approaching 15 or 20 years old, it may be time to start thinking about replacement. Opt for a dependable brand, such as the Lennox or Amana furnaces sold by Comfort Control, and consider other features that can add up to significant savings over time. A condensing furnace, for example, runs at 90 to 99% efficiency, while a non-condensing furnace tops out at 80%. A variable speed blower, versus a constant torque blower, will also result in greater efficiency and savings.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance
In addition to a regular safety check and cleaning, a major benefit of a preventive maintenance visit from a Comfort Control technician is the full performance tune up of your equipment. Similar to your car getting slightly better gas mileage after an oil change, a preventive maintenance check will ensure all the components of your heating system are operating in tip-top shape and at their maximum efficiency.
Contact us to get more information on how you could start saving on your monthly heating bills today!