Living in Middletown, NY, means that winters are long and cold. Your home’s heating system will have to work hard in order to maintain a comfortable and consistent indoor temperature. If you’re dealing with utility bills that seem to get higher every month, you might be wondering what you can do other than putting on another sweater or bundling up in a pile of blankets. Fortunately, there are ways to lower your energy bills without having to sacrifice your comfort.
Seal Gaps and Cracks
Most doors and windows have small gaps and cracks that facilitate unwanted air exchange. The heated air from your home could be escaping through those areas, and cold outdoor air could be getting into your home. Use the appropriate type of caulk or weatherstripping to block those cracks and gaps. Look around plumbing, electrical, and flue openings for little gaps and cracks.
Use Heavy Drapes
At night, use heavy drapes to block your windows. If you still have single-pane windows, they allow a lot of air exchange to take place. When investing in new windows isn’t an option, use heavy drapes to block your windows at night. You could also use plastic sheeting with thermal adhesives to create a seal around drafty windows. During the daytime, open the drapes. This allows the sun’s energy to deliver some warmth to your home.
Install a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
If your home doesn’t yet have a programmable thermostat, now is an excellent time to install one. These thermostats allow you to program daily schedules to control the temperature of your home. By lowering the temperature when you’re away from home, you’ll reduce your wintertime energy bills. Smart thermostats take this energy-saving feature up a notch. Some of them use geofencing with an app on your phone. By tracking your proximity to home, they carefully time the furnace’s or heat pump’s heating cycles. You can also adjust the temperature setting on your smart thermostat through the app. Some smart thermostats include sensors to place in different areas of your home. They work with zoned heating and cooling systems. If you’re not occupying a room, the sensors direct the heat away from that zone and to the zone where you’re located.
Change the Air Filter
A dirty air filter causes your heating system to use about 15% more energy to heat your home. Check the filter every month. If it’s difficult to remember this task, set a reminder on your phone or in your calendar. Pick a time that’s easy to remember, such as the last Saturday of the month. As soon as the filter is visibly dirty, remove and replace it. Don’t go more than three months between filter changes.
Upgrade Your Lighting
If you’re still using incandescent light bulbs, upgrade to LED bulbs. They use 75% less electricity than incandescent bulbs. Their lifespan is 25 times longer than that of incandescent bulbs. Remember to turn off the lights when you leave a room. Unplug electronic devices you’re not using. Their digital displays consume a small amount of electricity even when they’re not in use. If you have 10 devices with display lights on 24 hours per day, all year long, that adds up to a lot of wasted electricity.
Find out the R-value of the insulation in your attic and walls. If your home lacks adequate insulation, bring it up to the recommended level by the Department of Energy. Take a look at your hot water pipes and water heater. If they’re not insulated, they could be wasting a lot of energy as the heat from the water escapes through the metal pipes and tank.
Check Your Water Heater
Consider an upgrade to a tankless water heater, which doesn’t use a storage tank. Check the temperature setting on the water heater. If it’s higher than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, lower it to 120. Higher temperatures waste energy and may cause injuries.
At WK Mechanical, Inc., we’re the trusted team for in-home comfort consultations. Our heating and air conditioning maintenance, repair, and replacement services keep your home comfortable year-round. Homeowners also count on us for reliable generators, boilers and hydronic systems, water quality, and indoor air solutions. If you’re a business owner in or near Middletown, you can rely on us for quality commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning services. To learn more about lowering your energy bills this winter, call us at WK Mechanical, Inc. today.