Winter temperatures are coming! What can homeowners, particularly in the Capital District, do to keep their homes warm and wallets full? Yes, cold temperatures mean uncomfortable homes. However, many home energy savings solutions provide homeowners with options!
For example, mind the details.
- Reverse your ceiling fans, which pushes the heat down.
- Lay down carpets or rugs on bare wood and tile floors.
- Use a humidifier.
- Let dishes air dry in the dishwasher as opposed to running the dry cycle.
- Use the appropriate size burner for your pots when cooking on the stove top.
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs.
To help, the following home energy savings solutions offer actionable projects and checks that improve home comfort and reduce utility costs.
Conduct a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit helps homeowners determine where their house loses energy (and money). Additionally, energy audits provide solutions that address and fix any problems. Following the assessment, the home energy auditor shares findings with the homeowner and offer recommendations that creates a more energy efficient home. From there, the homeowner may choose to work with a certified energy consultant to create a plan to make recommended home improvements.
To put it simply, a home energy audit gauges how much energy your home consumes and identifies energy efficient solutions that offer significant savings over time!
Proper Air Sealing
Air leakage (or infiltration) occurs when outside air enters a house via cracks, gaps and openings. In fact, most homes contain the equivalent of a large open window in combined air leaks between their house and attic alone! To find air infiltrations, auditors rely on technology, such as blower door testing and infrared cameras. These tools detect hidden air movement and thermal deficiencies.
Fortunately, air leaks and drafts are easy to find because they are easy to feel. For example, homeowners typically feel around windows and doors and know air leaks surround their home.
Ensure Sufficient Insulation
Insulation remains the most important home improvement project homeowners make. In particular, insulation improves home comfort and reduces utility bills, while helping the environment. Essentially, home insulation blocks cold air from entering the home in the winter and holds cold air in the home during the summer. As a result, proper insulation results in a more comfortable home throughout the year.
Regardless of the location in your home, insulation always install installation to the proper thickness and after air sealing. In fact, adding the proper amount of insulation pays for itself through energy savings in less than a year or two!
It’s that simple and it really works.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
Programmable thermostats works by taking the programs set up by the homeowner and running them at specific times and days. A programmable thermostat basically lets homeowners customize the run times of their furnace, based on their lifestyle, in order to save energy and create a more comfortable living environment.
A programmable thermostat not only lets you choose the days and times you want your furnace (or A/C in the summer) to run, but it also allows you to set the temperature you want your home to reach as well. For example, turning your thermostat down to 68 degrees could help you save about 25% percent on your heating costs.
Keep Heating Vents Clear
Keeping heating vents clear and unobstructed helps ensure warm air enters your living area. For example, if a piece of furniture covers the vent, then you are limiting limiting the flow of heat. It’s like leaving the vent partially or completely closed.
Upgrade to a High Efficiency Furnace
Many furnaces built prior to 1992 that rely on standing pilot lights waste about 35% energy and are likely near the end of their useful life. For example, an upgrade to a 90% efficiency would reduce your by as much as 25%. Additionally, reduce your heating costs, by working with your HVAC tech to determine your current efficiency during your annual checkup.
Check the Hot Water Heater
Hot water heaters remain essential for home comfort throughout the year. However, during the winter months, proper water heater maintenance makes a difference between keeping you and your family warm during the winter or uncomfortable. As a result, the following steps help provide an efficient hot water heater during the winter.
- Reduce water temperature to the warm setting (120°F) because the drop in temperature provides significant savings over time (with no impact on your hot water).
- Add water heater insulation because they tend to lose heat if they are located in unheated spaces (such as basements).
- Insulate the water pipes because as heat loss occurs, then the water heater works harder and consumes more energy, so insulation helps.
Inspect the Furnace
Many homes contain old, inefficient furnaces or boilers as the primary component of their heating system. Unfortunately, these systems provide unreliable service when you need them most. Plus, inefficient furnaces remain more expensive to operate and maintain.
For example, change the filters regularly, which prevents dirt, dust, and other particles from entering your system and moving to other areas of your home. So, if the filter is dirty or clogged, it reduces airflow and makes the system work harder to keep you warm or cool.
As a result, conduct a proper furnace inspection every year, which includes changing the filter.
For example, A.Johnson Heating, Cooling and Plumbing offers homeowners throughout the Capital District with a comprehensive home maintenance program. Our plan includes precision tune-ups, cleaning, lubrication and inspection. As a result, you’ll experience lower utility bills, improved reliability, longer equipment life, discounts on repair or replacement work, along with priority same day service and improving the safety of your home.
No More Space Heaters
Electric space heaters and heating blankets consume more energy than most people think. Therefore, stop using them or use sparingly. If your home remains cold, then find the underlying reasons (primarily via an energy audit). Fixing the root problem improves the overall energy efficiency, which reduces costs throughout the year.
Find Quality Heating Help
Find qualified heating techs to inspect your home heating system. Quality heating techs ensure homes remain leak-free and operate efficiently. Also, professional techs provide simple training sessions. As a result, you know how to clean air filters because this is essential to keeping your HVAC system running smoothly during the year.
A.Johnson heating services include everything you would expect and more. We install, maintain, and repair any home or business heating system. Plus, we ensure that it is in perfect working order through our annual tune-ups and inspections. Our team of licensed professionals are bonded, and insured with many years of experience under their belts. No matter how big or small the job is, we will take care of your commercial and residential needs.
To learn more, call A.Johnson today!