For those of you who don’t know, October is Energy Awareness Month! And if that isn’t incentive enough, know that saving the planet and saving money go hand-in-hand. To help save you energy and money, we show you what you can do right now to cut heating bills by up to 50% before the winter weather hits.
When it comes to saving money on your monthly bills, it’s all about strategy. The list is big because we want you to save BIG.
* Schedule your annual furnace tune-up before winter starts up! Have your furnace serviced regularly and check the filter every month. Filters need to be changed every 1 to 3 months.
* Install a programmable thermostat so that you are not heating your home when no one is there or when people are sleeping. There are even apps that you can download so you can monitor and adjust the temperature of your home from a remote location.
* Save as much as 10% annually on heating costs by turn the temperature back 10-15% while away. We recommend lowering your thermostat to 68 degrees while away from your home.
* Make sure your fireplace has heat-retaining features. We highly recommend using fake, eco-friendly logs.
* Keep any shades or curtains on the south side of your home open during the day to allow for solar heating. Keep all curtains and blinds closed at night to prevent heat from escaping through your windows.
* Lock any windows not being used, as the tightness gets rid of any drafts. Consider putting Window Shrink Film over any windows that you don’t plan on opening all winter. Make sure to attach it to the frame of the window and not the window itself. Use a hair dryer to seal the plastic in place. You won’t even notice it’s there!
* Seal air leaks around doors and windows by adding caulk or weatherstripping. Use an incense stick to detect air leaks by holding the lit incense around areas that you suspect are drafty.
* Just like you checked the inside of your home for cracks and other air leaks, do the same thing for the outside of your home. Walk around the perimeter of your house and look for areas where pipes and wires enter your home in addition to the edges of any windows or other openings. For openings greater than a quarter of an inch, use Expandable Foam Spray; for cracks less than a quarter of an inch, use a weather-proof caulk.
* Turn down the temperature of your water heater to a warm 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Keep vents and radiators clean and unobstructed.
* Close doors to rooms that are not used. On the other hand, do not close vents in unused rooms; it causes the system to be unbalanced and may cause unwanted pressure in your air ducts that lead to air duct leaks.
* Use mastic sealing to cover up any air duct leaks. Consider having your air ducts cleaned by a professional at Boulden Brothers. We will also be able to seal any leaks that we find. Dirty air ducts have a detrimental impact on the performance of your heating system and the quality of your indoor air.
* Fire places may be a good source of heat, but they are also a perfect place for heat to escape your home. If it doesn’t have a glass door, make sure to close the damper that’s inside, when the fireplace is not in use.
* Use Foam Pipe Insulation and a Boiler Blanket to keep the heat around your heating system where it belongs.
* Be mindful of the meals you prepare. It takes significantly more energy to prepare meat than it does to prepare a vegetable or other plant based meal.
* Leave the thermostat at around 72 degrees ans wear sweaters, blankets, and Snuggies to stay warm and cozy.
* If you replace an old furnace or boiler, you may be entitled to an energy tax credit.
* Have an energy audit scheduled to inform you of the performance and efficiency of your HVAC system. This includes performing a “blower-door test” to tell how much air is leaking out and into your home. Following the energy audit, your Boulden Bros. technician will recommend various improvements to be done to save you money and energy. Sometimes, your utility company will even offer you a rebate for performing an energy audit. Call Boulden Brothers to find out more!
* Your utility company might also offer free programmable thermostats and any subsidies for major repairs, like roof and boiler replacement.
Although it won’t save you money or energy, it definitely saves lives to have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed outside of every sleeping area in your home. Over 60% of all home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors.
If you have any further questions on how to save money and energy this fall and winter, talk to the licensed, trained technicians at Boulden Brothers. Visit us on our website, Facebook, and Twitter or give us a call at (302) 368-3848. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to answer any questions you might have.