What do you think of when you hear the term “winter?” Most people think of cold temperatures, snow, hot chocolate, and the start of the holidays. However, some might immediately think of the energy bills they receive over these months, and how dreadful they can be. Between holiday decorations and the never-ending fight to stay comfortable, we totally understand why some people dread opening that envelope when it shows up in the mail.
However, you don’t have to live in fear or stress over your bill. In fact, a few simple changes or adjustments to your home and how you run your heater could have a substantial impact in how much you spend on energy over these months. Here are five tips you can follow for better energy efficiency during this heating season.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Whether you’re looking to save money or even for a perfect gift for the homeowner in your life, there is no dollar-for-dollar upgrade better than a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats take the principle of controlling your HVAC system and expand on it by adding Wi-Fi connectivity, real-time data inclusion, and even AI-controlled changes. The result is a thermostat that can automatically make adjustments based on your temperature goals in order to save money by reducing energy consumption while keeping you comfortable. Estimates say that these thermostats can pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as a year, and they work with the HVAC system you already have installed! Make sure you take advantage of our Holiday Special on our smart thermostats during this holiday season.
Set Your Thermostat Properly
Do you live in a two-story home? You probably aren’t setting your thermostats properly, and this could in turn be costing you quite a bit of extra money on your energy bills. Here’s what you should do: set your downstairs thermostat to your ideal temperature and then set your upstairs thermostat two degrees colder. Heat naturally rises, as warm air is less dense than colder air. As such, the warm air from downstairs will cycle up and keep the upstairs rooms comfortable. In turn, the downstairs unit will keep those spaces comfortable until the heat rises away. This means fewer cycles, more even heating, and lower energy bills.
Change Your Air Filter
One of the biggest reasons for an inefficient heater is a dirty air filter, and most people don’t change their filter nearly often enough. Changing your air filter is particularly important during winter, as we tend to keep our doors and windows closed tight to prevent heat from escaping. This reduces air quality, leads to more dust and debris in the air, and that means more debris in our air filters. If you haven’t checked your air filter in a while, go ahead and give it a look. If it is gray and dirty, replace it. You’ll see an immediate improvement in performance, and that in turn should lead to a reduction in the cost of heating your home.
Open Your Registers
Short-cycling is the term used to describe a heater turning on and off in extremely short bursts, such as no more than five minutes between turning on, shutting off, and then turning on again. This is an extremely inefficient way of operating—your heater uses the most energy when it is first firing up, and likewise this is also when operating is the hardest on your system. One thing that can cause short-cycling is when you close of air ducts and vents in certain areas of your home, increasing the airflow pressure in the rooms where it is open. This creates heat pockets that cause your thermostat to prematurely shut down your system, only to have to turn it on again when the pocket dissipates. After a few seasons, you’ll have spent a ton of extra money and probably be facing serious furnace problems if this is allowed to continue.
Use Your Ceiling Fans to Help You
Ceiling fans are your best friend in summer, but did you know they help you keep your home comfortable in winter too? On your fan is a switch that reverses the motor direction. Rather than having the fan blow downward on you, having it spin and pull air upward creates a cycle that evens out the temperature in your space. This causes warmer air from up near your ceiling to be pushed back down, keeping your home evenly heated without the need for more costly heating cycles. Just make sure you thoroughly dust your fan blades before reversing the motor—any dust that has built up on the blades will quickly fly off once the fan’s motion is reversed.
If you have a heating problem that needs to be repaired this winter, or you simply want to have your furnace tuned up to run its best, call Blazer Heating, Air, and Plumbing at (804) 277-2458 today.