In recent years, most people have considered the amount of energy they use more than ever. With rising prices for energy and the poor impact on the environment that using too much energy can cause, more and more people are looking for new ways to save big on the cost of energy each month.
If you would like to reduce the amount of energy you use this winter to help the environment and save money, try some of the following changes in your energy-consumption practices:
Try a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is one of the easiest ways to save on energy consumption each winter. You set the temperature that you want the thermostat to maintain based on specific days of the weeks or time of day. For example, you could set the thermostat to automatically lower by about 10 degrees while you are away from home at work each day. You can also lower the thermostat at night when you are in a warm bed. If you lower your thermostat for about 8 hours per day by 10 degrees, you can save about 20 percent on your total energy bills each month. This savings can quickly add up and you will be placing less stress on your furnace equipment as well.
Clean and Replace Air Filters
If your furnace has air filters, cleaning the filters can have a huge impact on the efficiency of your furnace. A blocked air filter can cause your furnace to work harder to maintain the same temperature reading in your house. Replacing the filters every three months will keep the air flow strong and prevent your furnace from consuming too much energy and overheating. If you use reusable filters, you can even save money by cleaning the filters instead of replacing them several times a year.
Maintain your Furnace
With extended use, a furnace will eventually wear out. Burners can get dirty, hoses can crack, air blowers can fail, and other problems can occur with the system. The best way to ensure your furnace always operates at top efficiency levels is to have a professional come and inspect the unit each year. The inspector can make any necessary adjustments or repairs to prevent the furnace from wasting energy throughout the winter.
Seal home leaks
Your house can lose a large amount of the heated air your furnace products through small holes and cracks. Many cracks and leaks occur near doorways and windows. Adding weatherstripping to doors and windows is a highly effective way to control the leaks in your home. Look for other small leaks as well, such as near electrical outlets, plumbing connections, and unused chimneys. You can also prevent hot air from escaping through cold windows by covering windows with curtains at night.
Inspect your Ductwork
Your ductwork is extremely important and carries the air from your furnace to the rooms of your home. If there are leaks in the ductwork, then you will lose much of your heated air to unused areas of your home. Have a professional inspector come and investigate your ductwork and make any necessary repairs. Blocks in the vents, improper insulation, and holes in the ductwork can all cause you to waste energy and money while warming your home throughout the winter. Fixing your ductwork can help rescue up to 60 percent of the energy used to warm your home.
Nearly everyone has to warm their home throughout the winter. Without a warm home, many people would suffer through the winter. Because the need for heat is universal, heating your home can be one of the largest home expenses you face each year. However, if you follow the steps outlined above, you can maximize your home comfort while still saving energy and money.
This guest post was written by Endre R., a green energy and sustainability advocate. He is also a freelance writer representing UFH1, a company that helps you learn more about underfloor heating manifolds, located in the UK.