There is nothing more disappointing about winter than opening your electric or gas bill after the first full month of running your furnace. During summer months, if you see your electric bill increasing each month, you have the luxury to turn your A/C off. (If you can stand the heat, that is!) That is obviously not always the case during the winter months. However, there are ways to help cut energy costs while heating your home. Here are a few to consider.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to preset temperatures for different times of the day. During the day, when no one is home or even at night when you are sleeping, there is no reason to keep your heat set at 68 degrees. Setting a programmable thermostat (as the table below shows) can save you 10% to 20% on your bill. Here are some recommended times and temperatures for optimum comfort and energy usage:
- 6 am to 9 am = 68 degrees
- 9 am to 5:30 pm = 60 degrees
- 5:30pm to 11 pm = 68 degrees
- 11 pm to 6 am = 60 degrees
An open fireplace is thought to be a good source of heat your home. However, this is not always the case. In fact, you might what to reduce the use of your fireplace. Did you know that a large, roaring fire can exhaust well over 20,000 cubic feet of heated air per hour to the outside of your home? While nobody will deny how nice it feels to be toasty and warm by the fireplace, the rest of your house is losing heat quickly, causing your home’s furnace to run continuously.
When you do use your fireplace, be sure to close the flue when you’re done using it. An open fireplace flue lets the same amount of heated air escape up the chimney as a wide-open 48-inch window lets out.
Reverse the Spin of Ceiling Fans
Many homes have ceiling fans in nearly every room. In the summer, fans are moving counterclockwise, meaning that the air is being pushed down, creating a subtle breeze. We all know heat rises. So, in the winter month redirect your fans (by the switch on the side of the fan) so the blades are moving clockwise. Switching your blade to turn clockwise forces the heated air sitting around the ceiling back down into the room.
Use Your Drapes to Your Advantage
When the sun is out, be sure you are taking advances of free solar heat that the sun provides by keeping the drapes open.
Right before sunset, close your curtains. This will provide an extra layer of insulation around your windows that will help keep the heat in.
Lower the Thermostat
This is probably the biggest no-brainer of them all, but on average lowering your thermostat three degrees saves you 12% on your electric/gas bill each month. Going from 72 degrees to 68 degrees won’t be noticeable as far as confront, but you will notice it each month when you receive your energy bill.
If you are here in Cherokee County Georgia and would like to get your furnace tune-up before all the family is in town for Christmas, call us!