Wednesday, December 3, 2014, AM | Leave Comment
There are several steps homeowners can take to save money on winter energy and heating costs.
How to Save Money on Heating Your Home
The first step is to have your furnace checked and have the heating ducts and vents cleaned and the ducts sealed by a certified professional.
Cleaning the ducts and vents provides a more consistent flow of warm air. Sealing the ducts between the walls and floors prevents heat loss and improves the efficiency of your heating system.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, sealing the heating ducts reduces heating costs by as much as 20 percent.
Together, cleaning and sealing the ducts heats your home more evenly, eliminating the areas that always seem too hot and the others that always seem too cold and the disagreements over thermostat settings that result.
Installing a new furnace filter further improves heating efficiency.
A programmable thermostat allows you to set the thermostat to a lower temperature during the times when no one is home and then warm the house just before family members begin to arrive.
Have a trusted local contractor inspect your roof for needed repairs for damage or wear and tear and also check your attic and wall insulation.
Replace or repair damaged weather stripping, and switch summer screens for storm windows and doors.
How to Save Money on Your Electric Bill
With energy efficient storm windows and fresh weather stripping installed to prevent heat loss, you can make use of sunlight to make your home feel warmer and reduce the use of interior lights. Open your drapes on sunny days.
Wondering how to save money on your electric bill? You can substantially reduce lighting costs by switching from incandescent bulbs, which have been discontinued anyway, to the new light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.
While compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) are energy efficient, LED bulbs are even more so. Further, LEDs last longer than CFL bulbs and do not contain mercury, as CFL bulbs do. LEDs are now the preferred light bulb among extreme Christmas decorators because of the energy savings.
How to Get Help with the Cost of Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Look for nonprofits, government organizations, or businesses in your area that will perform an energy assessment of your home to determine where heat is being lost and how to prevent it.
You may be able to get help with making your home more energy efficient through energy efficiency incentive rebate programs offered by your state.
To find what programs are offered by your state, visit the U.S. Energy.Gov Web site.
These programs may offer rebates on sealing air ducts; adding insulation; the purchase of more energy efficient light bulbs, doors, windows, furnaces, and appliances; and other energy-related improvements.
Some businesses will completely air seal the outer shell of your home, including the foundation, the exterior walls, and the attic.
You can find more information about energy efficient products, ways to save on energy, and compare your energy bills with those of owners of similar homes at the EnergyStar.gov Web site.Facebook.com/doable.finance