Wintertime in Georgia brings familiar associations like snow and ice, falling temperatures, staying warm by the fireplace, hot chocolate and, unfortunately, higher energy bills.
Some southern winters are worse than others, and trying to stay warm while also conserving energy can be a difficult task. Below are some suggestions to help you conserve as much as possible in order to lower your winter heating bill.
Insulate and seal your home
Especially if you live in an older home, it’s important to make sure there is a proper amount of insulation so that warm air doesn’t escape from your home and that cold air stays out. Not fixing unsealed cracks under doors and windows is like throwing money out the window!
Invest in a programmable thermostat
Having a thermostat that thinks for you rather than having to remember to turn down the heat when you leave the home can be very valuable. According to Consumer Reports, some programmable thermostats can save homeowners up to $180 per year. Conduct your own research to find one that best suits your needs best. (Get started by reading: Is a Smart Thermostat for You?)
Buy LED lights
Purchase lights with the ENERGY STAR label. LED lights, though more expensive upfront, use less energy and save you money in the long-term.
Maintain your heating system
Replace your AC filter before the months of heavy heating begin. Also, schedule a regular maintenance appointment with a reputable local HVAC company to make sure your system is working as efficiently as possible.
Check your fireplace
Always keep the damper to your fireplace closed unless you are using it. (Just remember to open in when it’s in use or you’ll be in for a surprise!) Occasionally, you’ll want to check the caulking around the fireplace hearth and add more if necessary. If you regularly use your fireplace for warmth, consider installing tempered glass doors and a heat exchange system that will blow warm air back into the room.
Shorten your showers
Taking showers uses less water and energy than baths. However, having each family member shorten his or her shower by just a few minutes can save the average family hundreds of gallons in water usage and reduce the energy consumption of your water heater. Experts have found that cutting showers in half could reduce your utility bill by as much as 33 percent.
Install energy efficient doors and windows
Most new doors and windows are energy efficient and made from well-insulated materials. Older homes, however, may have incredibly thin doors and drafty windows, which means air escapes very easily. Consider replacing these items if needed.
When you are not using an appliance or item that uses electricity, unplugging can save a lot of energy. If you plan to be gone on vacation for a week or more, unplug as many electronics as possible.
Lower your water heater temperature
Heating water accounts for approximately 18% of the heating bill in your home, according to Energy.gov. Experts recommend that homeowners turn the temperature down on their water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. If you go on a holiday vacation, turn the water heater down even lower or shut it off completely.
Contact an HVAC Professional at Gagne
If you’re looking to lower your utility bill, contact Gagne Heating & Air Conditioning today. Our licensed HVAC experts can service your existing system to make sure it is running as efficiently as possible, or give you a quote on a newer, more energy efficient system. We are a NATE-certified, locally owned and operated company serving homeowners and businesses throughout Atlanta, Alpharetta and North Georgia.
Own a small business? Check out this article to learn how to lower heating and cooling costs in your place of business too: 5 Ways to Lower Your Business' Heating & Cooling Costs and Boost Profits.