As the weather is getting cooler in Shepherdsville, KY, homeowners are starting to think about their winter heating bills. Unpredictable weather makes budgeting very difficult, leading to receiving exceptionally high bills during the colder months. This guide provides tips for lowering heating costs in a few easy steps.
Improve Air Circulation
Your heating system works by circulating air throughout your home. It draws air into the equipment, heats it, then pushes it back into your house. If there are obstructions anywhere in that process, they will reduce efficiency and increase your costs.
Check your registers to make sure air can circulate freely. These should generally have about 6 inches of clearance around them, allowing air to enter the room freely. Anything less, and the air will not move properly to ensure even heating.
To improve overall circulation, consider using your ceiling fans or pedestal fans around the house. You need to set your ceiling fans to rotate clockwise in winter, pulling cool air up and making your rooms feel warmer.
Check Your Air Filters
While checking for obstructions, be sure to check your air filters. You should only need to replace these every two or three months. However, checking them every month ensures you catch any buildup as soon as it forms.
While you are checking the filters, it’s a good idea to vacuum the intake sides of them. This removes excess dirt and extends the life of your filter.
Seal Your Leaks
Leaks that allow cold air into your home create one of the biggest problems you might face over the winter. The U.S. Department of Energy reports that windows can leak up to 30% of your home’s heat. It’s wise to seal your windows with a simple kit if you aren’t ready to invest in new, more energy-efficient ones.
Next, look at your exterior doors and see if you need to add more insulation. This could take the form of sealing strips that run along the door jamb or a slide-on seal that goes on the bottom of the door.
Finally, have an HVAC technician inspect your air ducts. While they may not bring cold air in from outside, you can experience substantial energy loss through ducts that aren’t insulated or sealed properly.
Consider having a professional HVAC energy audit to determine where your home is losing heat. This will help you discover the best solutions to reduce those losses.
Maintain Your System
The manufacturer rated your system to work at a certain efficiency level. It only operates at that level when the entire system is working optimally. Components that are straining to work properly reduce the efficiency of the entire system, which, in turn, increases your operating costs.
Have regular maintenance performed on your system to keep it working at peak efficiency. During a maintenance visit, the technician will clean several areas that commonly cause airflow restrictions. They will also ensure that all components are working properly and that all mounting screws are tight.
If something shows signs of not operating as it should, you’ll have time to plan for the repair rather than wait for a catastrophic failure. This helps avoid expensive emergency repair visits.
Run a Humidifier
Consider running a humidifier over the colder months. Adding moisture to the air helps to reduce the amount of airborne dust, which can clog your air filters. It also helps you avoid dry skin issues.
Optimal indoor humidity is 30% to 50%. You may want to add a whole-house unit to your HVAC system to provide adequate moisture for your entire home. Just be careful not to exceed 50% humidity, so you don’t encourage the growth of biological contaminants.
We have been providing trusted heating services to homeowners in Shepherdsville, KY, since 1947. Call us at Birkhead Co. to schedule furnace maintenance or repairs with one of our professionals to keep your system running optimally throughout the winter.
Image provided by iStock