7 winter tips

I know what you are thinking, who in their right mind throws money away? Well the truth is most of us waste money each and every day in places we don't even realize. Heating is the largest energy expense in most homes, accounting for 35-50% of annual energy bills. Reducing your heating energy use is the single most effective way to save money and reduce your home’s contribution to global environmental problems.

Keep vents and grilles unobstructed: Arrange your furniture and drapes so that all output vents and intake grilles are free from obstruction. This will reduce the heating and cooling load on your system for more economical operation. 

Keep heat away from the thermostat: Make sure no heat-generating appliances are near your thermostat. These include lamps, TVs, stereo and computer equipment. In the winter time the furnace may not run enough and you will feel cold because the thermostat is satisfied from the heat of the appliance. In the summer it is the opposite, the air conditioner will keep running because it thinks it is warmer in the house than it really is.

Keep the chimney flue closed: Close the chimney flue when you are not using the fireplace. Leaving it open is like leaving a window open and having your furnace working to heat the outdoors.

Furnace filters: Keep your furnace filter clean -a dirty furnace filter is a hidden energy thief. When the filter is dirty the furnace has to work harder and costs more to run. It affects both your gas and electric bills. If you have a standard throw away filter change it every month. If you have a washable filter clean it every month. If you have a media filter follow the manufacturers directions there are several different types, some are once a year, twice a year, and some are every 60-90 days. Mark it on your calendar so you don't forget, it is definitely worth the effort.

Replace your old money gobbling furnace: If your furnace is 15-20 years old or older it may be time to replace your heating system with a new energy efficient model. If it has a pilot light, it was probably installed prior to 1992 and has an efficiency of about 65% efficient (the least efficient systems today are 80% and the their are many models up to 97%)  You will save money on utility bills, and you won't have to worry about your old furnace breaking down and needing expensive repairs or operating safely. For many customers there are also utility rebates available on furnaces 95% efficient and greater and financing for qualified buyers.

Furnace clean & check: Schedule a furnace clean & check. A clean furnace uses fuel more efficiently and costs less to operate. A clean & check assures that the system is running efficiently and safely. The cost of the clean & check pays for itself and then some in lower utility bills. 

Install a humidifier: A humidifier not only promotes a healthier environment but adds warmth. If the humidity in your home is between 30-35% you will feel warmer at a lower temperature. You can set your thermostat at 70° or lower and feel comfortable.

More Winter tips:

Planned Maintenance Agreement (PMA): Sign-up for our PMA and we will send you reminders when it is time for your furnace and a/c clean & checks. Save 15% on any repairs needed.

Ceiling fans can keep you comfortable in the winter too! Use ceiling fans in reverse at the lowest setting to redirect warm air trapped in ceilings back down to help balance room temperature.
Keep blinds and drapes of sun-exposed windows open in the daytime and closed at night.

Make sure outdoor portions of your heating system are not blocked: Especially 90% furnaces with PVC flue pipes on the outside of the house can get blocked by leaves, shrubbery, or other objects.

Install rubber gaskets behind outlets and switch plates on exterior walls: Gaskets can be found in most home improvement stores.