Between the air conditioning in the summer months and heating in the winter months, there is always a chance your electric or natural gas bill will higher than you want it to be. So let us help you figure out how to save on your energy consumption so you can fix it before next month’s bill arrives.
What Increases Your Heating Bill?
Your heating bills might be the most expensive part of maintaining a comfortable home this winter. Many factors determine how much you are going to spend to keep your place warm and cozy this year. While you cannot do anything about some of them, here is a look at four of the most common reasons why heating bills are higher than they should be.
Obviously, as it gets colder outside, we want to be warmer inside our homes. This causes people to set their thermostats higher than normal to warm up the whole house to a comfortable temperature. Depending on the temperature change between your home and the outside world, your furnace could be working overtime to maintain the heat that keeps you comfortable.
If your home is not well-insulated, a lot of your heated air is making it outside through the attic, vents, cracks, and holes. It is important to ensure your attic is insulated well and you will likely need a professional to come in and do it for you. Older homes, in particular, are at greatest risk of needing new insulation due to aging, dirt, and pests.
Poorly Sealed Windows and Doors
One of the most common reasons behind high heating bills, poorly sealed windows and doors happen to every homeowner. It is essential to inspect your windows and doors at least once a year to ensure they are adequately sealed. Weather, aging and pests do much damage over the years to caulk and sealing agents, so you should expect to replace these items every few years to maintain a secure seal between your home and the cold air outside of it.
The average lifespan of a home furnace is 25 years. If the unit is aging, it is time for a replacement. While replacing a furnace has a large upfront cost, replacing a low efficiency unit with a high efficiency unit will save on monthly heating bills.
Routine maintenance prolongs the unit’s life. A professional is able to diagnose worn-out parts, carbon monoxide leaks, and dirt or rust. This maintenance keeps your home properly heated and the energy bill stable.
How to Lower Your Heating Bill
If you want to bring your heating bill down, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of energy you are using in your home.
Set Your Thermostat to a Lower Temperature
In the winter, set your thermostat to the lowest temperature that you can comfortably stand, or set it even lower and just put on extra layers. We also recommend lowering your thermostat at night when you are sleeping, and just using a thick comforter.
Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
When you set your regular thermostat, it will cycle at all hours of the day and night to ensure that your home stays at the temperature you desire. With a programmable thermostat, the system can be set to only run when people are home. This helps reduce the cost of your heating bill since you are only using the heat when you need it instead of heating or cooling an empty house.
Whether you need to add weather-stripping around doors or want to upgrade to double-paned windows, taking these steps can increase the insulation in your home and help keep the heat inside. Not only will the added insulation help keep you warm in the winter, it will also help keep you cool in the summer and save on year-round energy costs.
Get Your Furnace Serviced
You can ensure your heating system is running at maximum efficiency by having an HVAC technician pay a service call each year before the cold season sets in and check that all your components are functioning properly. Not only will this keep your bills lower, it will help reduce the risk of a breakdown in the dead of winter.
Consider Alternative Heat Sources.
Bundle up in warm clothing and blankets, and use other heat sources like electric blankets, space heaters or a fireplace to give your central heater a break. Wear thick socks and sweaters, or cuddle up under some blankets so that you can stay warm without spending extra money. Keeping your home at a lower temperature and staying warm with layers can help you stay comfortable while also keeping your heating bill down. With the thermostat lowered, the extra laundry will not adversely affect your energy or heating bill.
Still Have Questions? Contact an HVAC Expert
As cold weather approaches, it is important to take a few preventative measures to protect your home and bank account through the chilly months. You want to keep your home nice and toasty, but you definitely don’t want high heating bills all winter.
If your system needs repair or inspection, call us on 951-926-1002. You can also visit our contact page and complete the contact form.