Winter has hit the area hard already, and temperatures are apt to stay quite chilly for several months to come. Almost every home experiences a sharp upswing in heater use this time of year, and by default, that means paying higher monthly bills. But those high bills can disguise some unnecessarily high costs, which prudent homeowners can lower by improving the heating efficiency of their homes. Some steps are do-it-yourself options, while others require the attention of a professional technician. But all of them can help cut into those pesky monthly costs without reducing comfort levels when they’re needed the most.
Simple steps tend to involve prudent habits more than formal action, and might be practiced already as a matter of course. They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Setting the thermostat as low as possible when no one’s home during the day, and a similarly low temperature during the evening.
- Dressing warmly indoors. (Extra layers.)
- Opening the curtains for any windows facing the sun (especially those with a southern or western view) to let the sunlight help warm things up.
- Shutting vents in unused parts of the house that may not require excessive amounts of heat.
Do It Yourself
More substantial steps usually entail a trip to the local hardware store or similar efforts to help retain heat in the house. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Buy weather stripping or similar measures to seal cracks around doors and windows. Such cracks let heated air out of the home very easily.
- Place plastic sheeting on the inside of any windows to improve heat retention. The sheets should be sealed tightly to the window from with tape.
- Replace the filter in the heating system with a new one every month or so. That prevents clogs and helps the furnace function more effectively.
- Caulk spaces around electrical outlets and plumbing outlets that might be letting warm air escape. Pay special attention to any such outlets that are on exterior walls.
The Professional Touch
Sometimes, more extensive steps can be taken to provide maximum savings to a give household. Such steps can’t be conducted by laymen or do-it-yourselfers. They need a professional technician with the skills and experience to provide high-end service. Such services can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Regular maintenance. Annual maintenance for a heater will help the technician spot any little problems that may be dragging down efficiency, as well as noticing issues that may need more formal repairs.
- Humidifiers. Low humidity can rob household heating systems of efficiency, as well as creating static electricity and other nuisances. A humidifier can help the air in the home stay comfortable and ease the strain on the furnace.
- Thermostats. Older thermostats might not have the features of a new model, such as smart programming and automatic temperature adjustment which can improve the system’s overall efficiency.
For quality furnace maintenance and repairs throughout the Yonkers, NY area, call Yost & Campbell Heating, Cooling & Generators.