With temps in the 90’s, the last thing you’re probably thinking about is bundling up in a cozy sweater and sipping hot chocolate in front of the fire, but before you know it, those winter days will be here. And if you want to save money on your home heating bill this winter, you should start to think about efficiency now.
Check out these summer-time steps you can take to reduce the cost of heating your home during the winter.
1. Clean Your Filters
If you have not changed your filter recently, make sure to clean or replace your filter now. If your filter is full of dust, air cannot pass through it, and as a result, your heating and air will run less efficiently and drive up your electric bill.
Perhaps even more significantly, a dirty filter increases the amount of dirt and grime in your air handler, and grimy build-up can slow down moving parts, prevent air from flowing through your system, and lead to breakdowns. By simply replacing your filter, you sidestep a lot of risks and expenses.
2. Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
If you are still manually adjusting your thermostat during the day, you are likely losing money. Consider investing in a programmable thermostat so that you can set up your thermostat to match your lifestyle. Ideally, you should keep the temps low when you are sleeping or not at home and save the warmer temps for when you are actively at home.
For even more savings, consider a smart thermostat. These thermostats connect to an app so you can adjust remotely. For instance, if you decide to come home later in the evening, you can keep the thermostat on low, so you do not waste energy heating an empty home. On the flip side, you can also tell the thermostat to get your house warm and ready if you decide to go home early.
3. Consider a More Efficient Heating System
If your heating and air system is old and inefficient, you may want to consider investing in a more efficient home heating solution or augmenting your current heating system with a mini-split ductless heat pump. An HVAC professional can help you crunch the numbers to see if the boost in efficiency is worth the cost of the upgrade.
4. Upgrade Wood Burning Fireplaces
If you have a wood burning fireplace as your main source of heat or to support other heating solutions, you should take some time to make sure it is as efficient as possible. Depending on your situation, you may want to add an energy efficient insert, clean the chimney, or invest in additional heating solutions.
5. Seal Cracks and Leaks
Where is heat going to escape from your house this winter? If you see any visible cracks, use expanding foam to fill them, and add weather stripping as needed around windows and doors. To find hard-to-spot cracks, run a stick of lit incense around your doors or windows. If you see the smoke wavering or being sucked out, you have found a drafty area.
6. Insulate the Attic
Warm air rises, and if you live in an old home, you may be losing a lot of heat through your attic, and you should consider adding insulation. To put it in simple terms, the ultimate effect is like wearing a warm hat on a cold day — the extra insulation will help to keep your home warmer without making your heater work harder.
7. Schedule Routine Maintenance
Routine maintenance helps to ensure your heating and air is ready to work efficiently and safely during the winter. During a typical heat pump maintenance appointment, an HVAC technician does the following and more:
- Cleans or replaces air filters.
- Removes blockages from vents and air intake grilles
- Checks the heat pump for signs of damage or corrosion.
- Examines the blower fan motor for obstructions or grimy build-up.
- Inspects electrical connections. Tightens and replaces wires as needed.
- Checks for clogs in the drainage lines.
- Calibrates thermostat.
- Tests safety controls.
- Ensures the start-up cycle is working properly.
Routine maintenance saves you money by boosting the efficiency of your HVAC, improving the lifespan of your equipment, and reducing the risk of unexpected repairs.
To schedule routine maintenance for your heat pump, or other heating solution, contact us at All Weather Mechanical, Inc., today. For over 20 years, we have been meeting the HVAC needs of homes in Jacksonville, North Carolina, and the surrounding area, and we look forward to helping you save money on winter heating costs.
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