As we enter the coldest months of the year, many are reminded that the power bill in the winter can be just as costly as the summer. In fact, the cost of energy it takes to heat a home can be up to three times as much as the cost of air conditioning. Many families in Georgia are so focused on the hot months, they can forget how harsh the cold can get. A properly working HVAC system inherently includes a properly functioning heating system. It is your HVAC system to keep you comfortable year-round.
Many of the tips listed below can apply to all types of indoor heating systems. If you have any special questions regarding systems or applications, call Trust Heating and Air. Our experts are well versed in different systems and what would be best for you and your system.
1. Stop heating an empty house
If you are still adjusting your thermostat by hand, you are subject to the occasional human error of “forgetting”. Install a programmable thermostat. A new, smart thermostat will last longer and save you money over time by automatically adjusting or being adjusted remotely.
If you program your thermostat for when you leave or after you fall asleep to adjust, then you can save big! This downtime allows your heater to work in the bursts that it needs to return the home to the proper comfort level.
This is especially important if you leave for a weekend or holiday, and your heater is working to regulate a comfort level for an empty house.
2. Use window treatments as added insulation.
During the winter, the sun is your friend. Maximize the heat from the sun to warm your home. Leave your south-facing windows uncovered and cover other windows to create an insulating layer. During the summer, we are focused on keeping the heat from the sun out of the home during the day, but now it is welcomed!
Some shades can be effective in both seasons. These are called dual shades – reflective white on one side and dark, heat-absorbing on the other). Dual shades can be reversed seasonally to repel the summer heat and absorb the winter sun.
Windows allow a lot of natural light but can release a lot of heat. If properly insulated, you can reduce heat loss by up to 25%. Thicker insulation window treatments are a great option for seldom-used rooms such as guest or storage spaces, with the added advantage of protecting rugs and upholstery from photo-degrading.
3. Use a space heater
Space heaters may make many people think back to their earlier days of college dorms and first apartments, but they are more than that. Properly using a space heater can really reduce energy bills during the colder months. Modern space heaters are much more efficient, affordable, and aesthetically pleasing than most of us remember.
This can allow you to comfortably heat a specific room or area, rather than the entire house. Especially during the work-from-home era a lot of people are in, you may want to heat your home office or just heat your bedroom at night. This allows you to be selective and precise with your heat.
Ideally, isolate the room you are in to get the best results. The savings will be clear and you will create a cozy atmosphere specific to your needs.
For best results, be sure to follow the instructions and safety guidelines that accompany the heater. Primarily, keeping the heater from furniture and flammable objects.
4. Help heat flow freely
If your heat can flow freely, then your HVAC system may be working extra hard for the same results. This could also be costing you. Sometimes, this is as simple as rearranging the furniture in your home to prevent it from directly blocking an air register. Additionally, check to make sure hot air isn’t being trapped or absorbed by large curtains that will prevent the rest of the house from heating evenly.
Cleaning air ducts and removing dust and debris can also be very important for your systems’ performance. Understanding what your system needs and giving it the proper maintenance can help it run most efficiently, saving you money over time.
5. Don’t neglect furnace maintenance
Check your furnace filters monthly, and clean or replace them when they look dirty. Clogged filters greatly reduce furnace efficiency you should be able to clearly see light through the filter. After the first few years, a new furnace needs an annual cleaning and tune-up to maintain peak efficiency.
With anything, the more you take care of it, the longer it lasts. Your furnace is no exception. Speak to professionals at Trust Heating and Air today to make sure your heating system is running effectively and efficiently. This can keep your costs low and your comfort high this winter season.