Baby, it’s getting cold outside and even we, at Compass Homes, Columbus custom home builders, are feeling it! We know that in order to save money during the winter, there are steps we can take to conserve some energy & money. We can always put on another sweater & wrap up in a blanket when the thermostat is turned down, but what else can we do to reduce winter bills?
Don’t Let Your Chimney Dampen Your Heating Bill!
A lit fireplace draws a great deal of furnace-heated air up through the chimney, while forcing cold air back down through the same opening. This makes your furnace work overtime to keep your home toasty warm. What should you do instead? Turn your furnace down a couple notches, crack a window open in the room, close off the room while using the fireplace if possible, and be sure to close the damper when you aren’t using the fireplace. This can be avoided if you have a direct vent fireplace like we install in our homes. They’re much more energy efficient than a wood-burning fireplace, as the do not have a flue that allows air to escape.
Love Your Lighting!
Still using incandescent light bulbs? Replacing them with LED bulbs allows you to save money & energy. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs can use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. The bulbs operate on a lower wattage, which takes less energy to power the bulbs. This also results in reduced costs, since LED bulbs don’t give off as much energy as heat like incandescent bulbs do.
Timing Is Everything!
Programmable timers can save you money & time. A programmable thermostat can be set to raise & lower temperatures based on your family’s needs. A timer can be added to your water heater, so that it doesn’t heat water at night or when you’re gone. Even doing activities that use large amounts of electricity like showering & laundry early in the morning or late in the evening can save money, since rates may be lower during those times. Another thing to think about is unplugging any electrical items from the outlets when they aren’t being used. These items always draw some electricity, costing you money, even if they aren’t in use.
An Insulation Investment!
Do you have enough insulation in your walls, crawl spaces, basement and attic? Are your doors, windows, plumbing, and wiring sealed and insulated? Heat & cold air love to escape, and without proper insulation, you’re spending more money to stay warm. Think about windows & doors, and be sure they’re effectively keeping heat in. You may need to replace them, and add more insulation in your attic.
Keep It Clean!
Having an energy efficient furnace is the best way to help you stay warm and still save you money in the long run, so it might be time to replace your old system. At Compass Homes, we install some of the most efficient furnaces on the market. Regardless of whether you have a brand new home or one that’s 30 years old, keeping your furnace filter clean is vitally important, as it helps the system work efficiently. Service it yearly, as a safeguard that you don’t end up without heat on that really cold day. Check to see that all vents in your rooms aren’t covered by furniture or closed, allowing heat to move around freely. The exception would be closing vents in rooms that you don’t use. Check to see that ductwork is clean & sealed, preventing heat from escaping before it gets to where you want it to be!
Following these tips should help you reduce your winter bills. At Compass Homes, with new homes for sale in Upper Arlington, Ohio, we do everything we can when building to be sure you’re getting the most energy-efficient home, while still providing you a home at a great value.