By now, homes in northern Virginia have let their AC units rest for the winter, and have begun to receive their energy bills for heating their homes. If those bills are looking scary to you, you’re not alone. According to the Department of Energy, the costs for heating your home in the colder months account for over half (roughly 55%) of your total energy bills.
To help reduce that cost, we offer the following tips to help you save some money until the warmer months come around.
Use more blankets on your beds. Although it may not feel like it at times, the time your family sleeps accounts for a huge amount of each day. By dropping your thermostat four degrees during those hours (along the hours you’re not home), you can save up to 10% on your annual heating costs. By using more blankets in your beds, you won’t notice the temperature difference, but you will notice the cost savings.
Take advantage of your ceiling fan. As the weather turns, so does our tendency to use our ceiling fans. After all, weren’t they created to cool us off? Probably, but by setting them to a low speed, and letting it spin clockwise, you can pull down the warm air that has risen to your ceiling, and mix it with the cooler air that naturally settles closer to the floor. You make the most of the heat that your system produces.
Don’t let money fly out the windows. The older your home’s windows, the more heat is escaping from them. It’s easy to see for yourself: simply go around your home and place your hand on our near your windows. The cold you feel is the result of heat escaping.
There are a number of ways to prevent this from happening. While some add window film (available at any hardware store) to their windows, simply keeping your curtains or drapes closed at night can keep heat inside the house. During the day, open the curtains to let the sun help in heating your home.
Don’t make your heating system work harder than it needs to. It really all comes down to the amount of heat you need to generate to be comfortable, and there are ways to allow your system work less to achieve the same level of comfort. Close registers in rooms you seldom use, make sure that your carpets or furniture doesn’t block registers or vents, and change your filters regularly.
All of these tips, done together, make an incredible impact on your energy bills. Pride can help you save even more with a complete home inspection!