Six Energy Saving Hacks To Help Reduce Your Heating Bill

We’ve been lucky with our mild winter weather this year, but that doesn’t mean that your energy bills haven’t been taking a hit with inflation and rising rates. We’ve hunted down the most effective ways to save on your future energy costs that are worth looking into.

  1. Regularly maintain your furnace and change filters. Replacing a dirty filter can help to save you up to 15% of your bill. Clogged, dirty filters make your furnace work extra hard to get your room to the desired temperature. Changing your furnace filters monthly with a filter rated with a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) of 8 is ideal. This filter will catch lint, dust, pollen, mold spores, and dust mites. You can find filters that go up as high as MERV 16; however, know that your HVAC will work extra hard to push air through these filters, and your furnace may have trouble with the load. TIP: whenever you change your filter, also clean your air-to-air exchanger filter as well!
  2. Clean your air ducts. Recommended every few years (annually if you have pets or allergies), the cleaner your ducts, the easier it is for your furnace or a/c to push air through the system to the desired temperature. Not only is this a major energy efficiency hack, but it also drastically improves the air quality in your home. If you suffer from allergies, major headaches, nasal congestion, or sinus problems, poor air quality in your home could be a contributing factor. We breathe in as much as 1-2 TBSP of contaminants in our homes every day, and if you smoke or have pets, the pollutants we suck back through our air are much worse. Cleaning the air ducts, furnace, a/c, and HRV will reduce dust, bacteria, and mold spores from your home.
  3. Install a programmable or smart thermostat. On average, savings are approximately 8% of heating and cooling bills or $50 per year when installing an ENERGY STAR thermostat. On average, the NEST thermostat saved customers about 10-12% on their heating bills and about 15% on their cooling bills, an estimated average savings of $131 to $145 a year, which means the Nest thermostat can pay for itself in under two years. Look at one of our agent’s experiences installing one in her home:  THE NEST.
  4. Seal up any drafts around windows and doors. Your old, leaky windows could be responsible for 25-30% of your home's heating and cooling bill. The less efficient the window, the higher your energy bills will be. If you can’t replace draft windows and doors, the best way to seal them is by installing weather stripping or caulking. This also goes for garage doors when you have a garage heater! So much heat is lost if your garage doors are not meeting the concrete pad.
  5. Check your insulation. The recommended R-Value for your attic should be around R-40 (approx. 10-14 inches); however, it’s not just how much insulation you have that could the culprit of heat loss. It would help if you also had proper venting and vapor barrier to ensure that air is not escaping to the attic. If you have insufficient insulation, it can cost you up to 25% of your winter heating bill. Having an expert inspect your attic if you are experiencing drafts, ice damming, or water leaks are vital. 
  6. Opening your curtains on sunny days and closing up unused rooms can be a great way to save money. Take advantage of nature’s heat by opening up those south-facing windows during those sunny days and closing them at dusk. Also, closing off rooms like those unused in the basement or closets can help the furnace work less to keep them at the desired temperature.

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