February 15, 2015
While we are lucky to enjoy the mild Charleston winters, we still want to save money when we do run our heat. Here are a few ways to saving some money while still staying comfy!
- Check your filters often. Standard filters need to be replaced every 30 days. You may need to change them more often if you have multiple pets. A clogged filter reduces airflow into the system and reduces the output of heated air. Restricted airflow also puts strain on the system, increasing the possibility of failure.
- Take advantage of sunlight. Do you have south facing windows? Open up your curtain and blinds and allow the sun to help heat up the space.
- Fireplaces can waste a lot of energy. If you aren’t using it, make sure the damper is closed and seals tightly to keep your heat (and your money) from going up the chimney.
- Make sure your duct system is tightly sealed. If heated air is escaping into your attic or crawl space, it’s not making it into your home.
- Use exhaust fans only when needed. Exhaust fans pull heated air out of the house at a rapid rate, requiring your heating system to work harder to make up the air. Exhaust fans also cause negative pressure which can pull in uncomfortable drafts around windows, electrical outlets, and can lights.
- Install a programmable thermostat so that you can lower the temperature set point a few degrees while you’re away. Keep this within five degrees of your normal setting as more may be counterproductive, requiring additional energy to increase the temperature back up to your original setting.
- If you have one heating system for two floors, partially close the vents on the second floor to force more heat downstairs. Alternatively, consider installing a zone system so each floor is controlled independently for higher efficiency and consistent comfort and temperature on each floor.
- Hot air rises; use your ceiling fans in the reverse position on low to help push warm air downward.
- Maintain your heating system. Regular maintenance helps keep your system running at peak efficiency and will prolong the life of the equipment. The EnergyStar program recommends two services per year; one in spring to prepare for the cooling season and one in fall for the heating season.
- Consider upgrading to a new high efficiency system. Think you’re saving money by repairing that old unit? Maybe not. An older, lower SEER system may be costing you more to run and repair than a new system. Plus, newer technology provides better overall comfort and reliability.