Heating accounts for about 44% of your household energy costs. These practical conservation tips can help you trim your energy costs!
(Many of these tips apply to your air conditioning as well)
- Make sure your system is operating at peak efficiency by having it tuned up annually.
- Install a programmable thermostat and turn down the heat 10-12% (approximately 7-8 degrees) for 8 hours a day (i.e., when you are asleep or away from home).
- Each degree you turn down the thermostat in a 24-hour period reduces your daily heating cost by 3%.
- Most heat is lost through the attic. Improving the insulation of your attic can save you up to 30% in heating costs!
- If you have a forced-hot air heating system, check your air ducts for holes and separations. Use duct tape that has the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) logo.
- Seal around windows and doors and places where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring penetrates exterior walls, floors, and ceilings. Install rubber gaskets behind leaky outlets and switch plates on exterior walls. To identify air leaks, on a windy day hold a lit incense stick next to your windows, doors, electrical boxes, plumbing fixtures, electrical outlets, ceiling fixtures, attic hatches, and other locations where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels does not rise vertically, you have located an air leak
- If you have a conventional fireplace, be sure to close the damper when the fireplace is not in use.
- Close the vents in rooms you don’t use. This will direct more heat to your other rooms, and decrease the area to be heated.
- Keep closet doors closed. They add to the area to be heated and may contain air leaks.
- Arrange your furniture so that the heat source is not blocked.
- Use natural heating. Open the blinds and curtains in your house on sunny days to let the sun’s rays warm your rooms. At night, close them to keep the heat inside.
- Insulate your hot water storage tank, being very careful not to cover thermostats or burner compartments.
- Drain a quart of water from your hot water storage tank every 3 months to remove sediment that impedes heat transfer and lower the efficiency of your unit. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this procedure.
- If you feel cool, add a layer of clothing before turning the heat up.
- Remove window air conditioning units during cold months. If this is not possible, cover all sides of the unit to reduce air leaks.