11 Ways to Squeeze a Little Extra Cash out of your Heating System this Winter

squeeze a little extra cash out of your heating system

The holidays are over, and you’re settling in for the, hopefully not, long winter.  Your pond and irrigation system are winterized, but after the expense of the holiday season, you may not be looking forward to the upcoming heating bills as the thermometer drops. Take a moment to read our previous post about all the simple ways you can save money on heating your home in the cold months.

Here are an additional 11 ways to squeeze a little extra cash out of your heating system this winter: 

  1. Layer Up! Put on a sweater and lower the thermostat! Our parents knew this was a great way to save money, and it still applies today. Even a 4-degree reduction in your thermostat will save you some dollars this winter. According to energy.gov, a 10-degree (brrr!) reduction can save you as much as 10% on your heating bills.
  2. Maintain the system: Take good care of your HVAC system, and it will take care of you. Be sure it’s tuned up and ready to purr through the chill. Remember to replace your filter too!
  3. Keep your garage door closed: The garage door serves as a block to the cold air buffeting the shared interior wall. Keeping it closed will provide a buffer between your heat and the frigid winter air.
  4. Take control:  There are many helpful tech gadgets available that can assist with keeping your costs low, such as a smart thermostat. Program it to lower the temperature when you are at work and asleep.
  5. Let the sunshine in!  On sunny days, open the curtains to drain the heat from the sun.  Clean your south-facing windows to allow as much heat as possible into your home.  Then close the curtains as soon as the sun sets to keep the heat inside.
  6. Post-Santa repairs: If Santa made a stop at your house, now is the time to check the chimney and ensure everything is in working condition.  Close the damper when it’s not in use to stop the heat from escaping here.  Check the seal on the flue damper to ensure it’s as tight as possible.  If you’re using your fireplace, install tempered glass doors and a heat-air exchange system so the warm air can be blown into the room.  Lower the thermostat and enjoy the heat from the fireplace.
  7. Wrap it up:  Adding clear plastic sheeting to your windows can reduce drafts and the loss of warm air.  They can be purchased at any hardware store and are easily applied with heat, such as from a hairdryer.
  8. Vent!  Clear any obstructions away from the vents so your furnace can do its job and blow the warm are into your rooms.  Clear vents also help your HVAC system work more proficiently.
  9. Throwdown a rug. Lifting rugs and putting down wood or manufactured flooring has been the preferred decorating technique for some time now.  Unfortunately, the ease of sweeping the floor has been traded in for a loss of heat.  Carpeting insulates your floors, so use throw rugs through the winter months.
  10. Insulate.  From doors to attics, more insulation will help keep your heat where you want it.  Inside your home!
  11. Close off the unused. If there are rooms you don’t frequent, close the air vents and doors. Avoid wasteful heating of square footage such as garages, crawlspaces, and attics if you’re not using them regularly.

If you’re looking for a reliable HVAC contractor anywhere in Columbus or central Ohio, reach out and we will share our list with you.   Just call or email us!  We hope these tips were helpful. 

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

Many people are looking for ways to make their homes more energy efficient. The reasons vary from saving money on utility bills, helping the environment, and increasing the value of their home. Some of the ways to do this require significant changes to your home, and others can be smaller changes.

Invest in New Doors and Windows

While this is a major expense, getting new energy efficient windows and doors can really help with the utility bill. The latest windows are double paned and offer excellent insulation. Some options even come with tinting, another value-add to the efficiency. When it comes to doors, make sure you are choosing the right insulation for the Columbus climate. If you can’t afford new doors, adding an efficient storm door is a good alternative.

Replace Lightbulbs with LED bulbs

This is one of the easiest things to do. LED Bulbs are much more efficient than the old incandescent bulbs of the past. They are more expensive, but they also last much longer, making it a double money saver. You can buy LED bulbs for almost every lamp and lighting fixture you can purchase. 

Check Your Insulation

If your home is not brand new, check your insulation. This is especially important if there were water leaks or damage to your roof. Insulation can settle if it is the fiberglass kind. So even if you had enough insulation when it was installed, it may not be enough now. You may only have to add to it and not completely replace it.

Install Energy Efficient Appliances

All new appliances are energy efficient, but even if you replaced your appliances five years ago, more efficient machines are out now. The biggest energy user besides a HVAC system is your clothes dryer. Replacing it can add significant savings to your energy bill. The other great thing about replacing appliances is that you can do them one at a time when your budget allows. Look for the Energy Star label on appliances.

Get a Tankless Water Heater

Think of all the energy you will save by not heating a bunch of water daily. Installing a tankless water heater means you have hot water only when you need it. Another advantage is there is a lot less chance of the water leaking from a tankless water heater than a traditional water heater. The tankless also takes up much less space. They are expensive to install, but long-term savings will outweigh this cost.

Making your home more energy efficient is a great selling point if you plan on selling your home in the future. Even if you aren’t planning to sell, making your home more energy efficient is a great way to save money. Doing all of these things will also help the environment because you are using less energy. Some of these improvements, such as installing energy efficient windows and doors, may qualify for a tax credit, check with your tax advisor or someone from our team.

7 Quick Tips to Save A/C Costs in Your Home

AC Unit for 7 tips to save money air-conditioner

It’s wise to plan in advance for the hot and humid season, if you don’t want a surprise from your summer electric bill.

Here are seven quick tips to save A/C costs in your home:

  1. Close the window coverings to keep the heat of the sun outside. Turn off most lights (they generate heat) and limit your use of the stove or oven.
  2. Check for air leaks in your home. This can include windows, doors, poorly-constructed vents, and wall outlets. Use a lit candle to see if there’s any air movement on a windy day.
  3. Once the leaky culprits are found, seal them off. There are many products available: spray foam, window and door weather stripping, caulking, etc. Talk to your local hardware person for advice on the best fix.
  4. Keep your air conditioner in good running condition. You’ll save money in cooling costs to have a serviceman check out your central air conditioner in late spring before the first heat wave arrives. Refrigerant leaks and dirty air conditioning coils are the two biggest reasons for sub-par cooling in the home.
  5. Make sure the AC ducts in the attic are properly sealed at the joint and all ductwork is insulated. Ten to thirty percent of cooled air escapes because of these two fixable items.
  6. Clean your AC filters! This commonly-neglected chore reduces AC efficiency and uses up more electricity.
  7. For window air conditioners, be sure you have insulation around the entire shape of the air conditioner. Use strips of sturdy foam insulation and cut each piece to slight oversize to fit the space between the side of the air conditioner and the window. Use a putty knife to push the foam into place. Also be sure to keep the air conditioner filter changed frequently.