As energy bills rise, it’s tempting to look for the single solution that will shave off a large part of your heating bill, but there are numerous ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home. With these simple and inexpensive San Antonio HVAC maintenance solutions, you can keep those heating bills from rising – even in the cold holiday season!
ADJUST THE THERMOSTAT
The most obvious way to reduce your fuel use is to turn down the thermostat. Think of it as a valve between your fuel supplier and your wallet. For every degree you turn it down, you will use up to 3 percent less heating energy. A 10-degree setback overnight or while you’re at work will cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent. Keep in mind that it doesn’t take long to heat your home to a comfortable level – only about 15 minutes. Never adjust the thermostat above the desired temperature; doing so will not heat your home any faster.
REPAIR DRAFTY WINDOWS
Older windows are often big energy wasters. When you’re ready to invest in new windows, many energy-efficient options are available before you buy, you should know there are several inexpensive repairs that can improve the performance of your current windows.
EFFICIENT HEATING SYSTEMS
A typical heating system will last about 20 years, although some have been around much longer. If yours is 15 years old or more, then it is a good candidate for replacement: Efficiency can range from about 60 percent in older equipment to 95 percent or higher in modern systems. The Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency (AFUE) is a standardized test of a heating appliance’s overall efficiency and is listed on the yellow EnergyGuide tags found on heating equipment. But before you buy a new heating appliance, consider low-cost maintenance and relatively inexpensive upgrades, which offer significant energy savings.
HOME HEATING CHECKLIST
- Open the curtains and shades on sunny days.
- Design landscaping to allow sunlight to enter south-facing windows in the winter, and to provide shade in the summer and year-round wind blocks.
- Dress warmly and keep the temperature as low as is comfortable.
- Use a programmable thermostat to turn down the heat at night, and while you’re at work or out of town.
- Seal and insulate your furnace ductwork.
- Use insulating window curtains at night to reduce heat loss.
- Install a ceiling fan to circulate warm air trapped at the ceiling, allowing you to turn down the thermostat a few degrees.
- Use plastic window film, storm windows or insulating window panels if your home has single-pane windows.
- Seal drafty areas where outside air enters the home, such as at doors and windows and anywhere air from the attic can penetrate the rest of the house, such as the chimney, plumbing chases and attic hatches.
Let us know your money saving tips!