With the winter weather and subfreezing temperatures in your Hagerstown-area, you’ve probably been spending more time indoors, which is reflected in your utility bill every month. Learn how to lower your heating bill.
To help you curb those rising costs, here are 5 easy and effective ways to maximize the efficiency of your heating system and lower your heating bill by a significant amount:
1. Check and/or change your air filter every 30 days
With all of our smart phones, calendars, and to-do lists, it should be easy to set a reminder to check your furnace filter every 30 days. Sometimes dirty air filters can block so much air flow that your furnace will struggle to even turn on. Make sure you insert the filter in the right way and follow the manufacturer instructions. Some filters just need to be hosed down for instance, rather than needing to be replaced.
The other essential maintenance you need to keep your heating system at optimum performance and efficiency is to schedule furnace and air conditioning maintenance every year. Most manufacturer warranties even require this regular maintenance for the warranty to remain valid. This is because HVAC systems, like cars, need regular check-ups and tune-ups to remain effective. Signing up for a maintenance plan ensures that you will receive the care for your heating and cooling systems necessary for warranty eligibility. These plans also offer priority service, huge discounts, and will contact you for service so you don’t have to remember. Your HVAC technician will also make sure that you have a clean air filter before they leave!
2. Install a “smart” or programmable thermostat
If you do not have a programmable thermostat, consider keeping your thermostat setting at 68 degrees during the winter and lower while you are away from your home or asleep. You can save up to 1% on your heating bill for every 1 degree you turn down the thermostat (if it remains at that setting for 8 hours or more).
Look at these reviews for “smart” thermostats that learn your family’s heating and cooling patterns, such as Nest, Hive, Tado, and Honeywell Evohome.
For more information on thermostats and maintaining an energy efficient home, visit energy.gov.
3. Open blinds when it is sunny and close them when it’s not
Take advantage of the natural heat the sun provides to give your heating system some support. You’ll be surprised by how much this makes a difference. Remember to close the at night to prevent heat from escaping through your windows. Also, consider purchasing insulating or “thermal” curtains/blinds as seen on this Bed Bath & Beyond page.
4. Add insulation
The more insulation and sealed air leaks that you have, the more your precious conditioned air stays where it is supposed to. The areas of your home that could benefit most from insulation is your attic, basement, crawl spaces, and walls. Insulating your home is no small task. You may want to hire a professional to do it. If, however, you are the DIY type, visit this Family Handyman page for all the information you need for professionally adding attic insulation to your home. From there you can find out more about insulating the other areas in your home.
The best way that you can discover where in your home you are losing the most energy, schedule a home energy audit with Larry & Sons.
Our energy audits can help address the following issues:
- Poor insulation
- Leaky ductwork
- Inefficient heating system
- Drafty areas or cold spots
- Need for better ventilation
- Moisture control issues
If you are interested in a home energy audit in Hagerstown, call Larry & Sons. We can schedule an appointment with you at your earliest convenience.
5. Seal air leaks
Remember that caulking can go along way. Tubes typically cost less than $8 and will save you huge amounts on your heating bill. If you want to lower your heating bill on the cheap, a great place to start is weatherstripping your doors and windows and caulking your any gaps near your windows, ceilings, doors, attic, basement, wiring, piping, or other areas where utilities enter or leave your home. Use an incense or smoke stick and hold it up to areas where you suspect an air leak. If the smoke moves, you have an air leak. You can also use a sheet of toilet paper.
For cracks and gaps smaller than a quarter of an inch, use weatherproof caulk. For gaps greater than a quarter of an inch, use expandable foam spray.
Also, remember to seal your air ducts with mastic and mesh tape. For professional duct sealing services in the Hagerstown and Frederick, Maryland areas, visit Larry & Sons Duct Sealing page.
For over 55 years, Larry & Sons has been serving your home heating and cooling needs in the great Hagerstown, Maryland area. Contact us for an expert able perform nearly any home service you need. We offer installation, repair and maintenance of heating, air conditioning, geothermal, solar and indoor air quality systems. We service all makes and models, even if we didn’t install your system to begin with.
We are also full–service plumbers, offering water heater repair and installation, sewer and drain services and water treatment systems.
For more information on how to lower your heating bill, give us a call at 301-733-5428. We’d be glad to answer all of your questions.