As winter breezes over to North Virginia and the cold chill settles upon us, many of us will be relying on our heaters to stay toasty this season. Unfortunately, this comes at a high cost. Energy Star broke down the typical utility bill and found that the biggest share of a household’s energy consumption went to heating. The good news about this steep seasonal heating bill is that you can reduce it with our tips below. At HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited, we’re dedicated to delivering services that help families stay comfortable in their homes at prices they can be happy with, too.
Take advantage of other sources of heat
There are plenty of household activities that generate warmth, such as baking or taking a shower. Next time you bake some delicious treats, crack the oven door open to let the heat travel throughout your home. The same concept applies to when you shower. By leaving the bathroom door open, steam can spread to other rooms. Just remember to leave the ventilation fan off, or else it will remove the warm air.
Lower your thermostat
One of the simplest things you can do is lower the temperature a few degrees. While the suggested thermostat setting in the wintertime is 68°F, setting it back 7°-10°F for 8 hours a day can make a considerable dent in your heating expenses. You won’t even notice the setback if you do it while you’re at work or sleeping.
Consider a programmable thermostat
Manually adjusting the temperature every day can become tedious, which is why you should consider a programmable thermostat. These models can store and repeat multiple daily settings, so you don’t have to waste money heating an empty home.
Lower your water heater
Right behind heating and cooling, water heating is the largest energy user in the home. If you’ve never adjusted your water heater’s temperature, then it’s most likely set to 140°F. Most homeowners will never require water at that scalding temperature, and reducing it can save you $12-$30 annually for every 10°F it’s lowered. The Department of Energy suggests 120°F as the optimal setting, but you can always adjust it to your household’s preferences.
Clean or replace your furnace’s filter
Routine HVAC maintenance can do wonders to extend the life of your heater and reduce costs. Part of this maintenance includes changing your furnace’s filter every 3 to 6 months. When your heater is at the top of its game, it will work efficiently and effectively, while using far less power.
Seal any drafts
It’s expensive to heat a home, so don’t let any of that precious air escape through an unsealed leak. Check for hidden drafts by lighting a candle and holding it near windows and doors. If you notice flickering, then cold air is likely getting in. Apply weatherstrip or caulk on these gaps, so you don’t lose any more heat.
Open your curtains during the day
For those days where the sun is shining, open your blinds to get some free heat. The natural light can help warm up your home, but remember to cover your windows once the sun sets to trap that heat inside.
Contact HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited
These individual changes are small, but when added up, it can amount to significant savings. To ensure you stay warm and comfortable all season, get in touch with HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited. You can depend on our certified specialists for repair, installation, maintenance, or replacement for your furnace, boiler, or heat pump.
If you are interested in reliable and quality HVAC and plumbing services, fill out our contact form online or give us a call at (703) 454-5040!