With temperatures hitting frigid temperatures in the greater New York area this year, you could often find yourself running to the thermostat to turn up the heat. While this may feel great and warm you up, it may put some strain on your wallet that it may not have during the spring, summer, and fall. Gas heating bills were projected to rise an average of 10% this year across the country. If you found that your bills for November and December were higher than normal and you’d like to do something about it for the last few months of winter, we have the perfect set of solutions for you. These ten tips are simple to implement, relatively painless to live with, and can all make a big impact on your energy bill.
- Bundle up with extra layers of clothing. While many like to lounge around the house in short and a t-shirt in the winter, throwing on warm pants and an extra sweatshirt will allow you to set your thermostat to a lower temperature. A few cozy blankets and area rugs for insulation can also help you stay warmer without having to turn up the heat. Just a few degrees difference in your thermostat setting can make a big difference on your bill.
- Lower your thermostat at night. A great way to lower your heating bill without making much of a difference in your daily life is to set your programmable or smart thermostat to decrease the temperature while you sleep. If you layer up based on our first suggestion and use a few extra blankets, you will barely notice the different and could save big on your heating costs!
- Only heat rooms that are in use. If you have rooms in your home that you don’t use on a regular basis, you could be wasting money by heating them for the entire winter. If you have a zone control system where you can turn off the heat in certain rooms, this can easily by adjusted with the thermostat. In addition, you can close vents to room that aren’t being used. If you do need to use one of these rooms briefly, using a space heater for that period of time can be more energy efficient than using your full heating system.
- Keep your furnace clean and free from debris. A furnace that has dirty vents has to work harder than one that is cleaned and maintained on a regular basis. A harder working furnace consumes more energy than one that is working as intended. In addition, you could be reducing the lifespan of your system which could lead to big repair or replacement bills further down the line.
- Use a humidifier. During the winter, air in the New York area can be very dry. It can get even drier indoors if your heat is pumping constantly. Very dry air feels colder than moist air so adding a humidifier can help you feel warmer when your thermostat is set to a lower temperature.
- Add insulation. The amount of energy wasted due to heat escaping the home is astronomical. Inexpensive insulation from a home improvement store added to doors and windows or inside walls can make all the difference in making sure your home stays warm.
- Use the heat of the sun. You don’t always have to generate artificial heat in your home. The sun can be a great heat source, even in the winter. Open the curtains in your home, especially on the south facing side and let the free heat come into your home!
- Use LED Lights. While this isn’t a direct heating tip, it can still reduce your energy bills in other areas so you can feel comfortable spending more on heat. LED lights use up to 75% less energy and can last 25 times as long as other light bulbs, so the switch may be worth it for you.
- Minimize the use of kitchen and bathroom exhaust fans. Exhaust fans are useful for removing undesirable smells from your bathroom or kitchen, but they can also remove a lot of heat from your home. Use them sparingly to save money on reheating the same areas of your home.
- Use ceiling fans. Since hot air rises, you may be wasting energy heating the area near your ceiling more than the area near the ground. You can turn ceiling fans on low to push hot air back towards the floor.
These are all quick and easy steps you could do on your own to lower your energy bills. If you’re serious about saving some serious cash, give the heating experts at Carey and Walsh a call. We can make sure your heating system is running efficiently with our comprehensive inspection. We can also set you up with a smart thermostat to help you regulate temperature and save even more. In addition, a brand new energy efficient system may be the best route to go as it could save you thousands in the long run. The Westchester County heating experts at Carey and Walsh will make sure your system is doing everything it can to provide you with the most efficient heat for less!