HEATING * AIR CONDITIONING * REFRIGERATION
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10 TIPS TO STAY WARM AND SAVE $$$
Your winter homeowner's guide to a smart heating strategy.
Our furnaces on average account for about half of our entire home energy consumption during the peak months. With inflated energy bills and a withering budget, everyone is looking for ways to trim down their energy expenditures.
However, in these brutal Idaho winters, life without your furnace is at least uncomfortable and at most unbearable.
Fortunately the energy bills of your home are a combination of a number of different sources. By identifying where we waste energy, we can alter our habits to reduce our bills without sacrificing comfort.
TEN WAYS TO STAY WARM AND SAVE MONEY OVERVIEW
1. Clean Your Furnace
The absolute most important thing you can do to keep your furnace running efficiently is regular maintenance. Callen Refrigeration's furnace cleaning service will prevent breakdowns before they happen and keep your furnace running in tip-top shape.
2. Change Your Air Filter
The furnace filter should be changed every 30 days during the peak season. As particles collect and compound in the filter, it reduces airflow. The dirty filter will hamper efficiency and shorten the overall lifespan of the furnace.
3. Change Your Air Filter Use Your Ceiling Fans
It may seem counter-intuitive, but by using our ceiling fans in the winter we can actually make rooms warmer. The heat from your furnace will rise and collect near the ceiling where it is no use to you! A fan spinning clockwise will pull air up dispersing the collected hot air and forcing it to once again to rise past your body. Use counterclockwise rotation in the summer to cool the rooms in your home.
4. Use Washing Machines and Dishwashers Wisely
Adjust the load size to match the amount of clothes you are washing, and use only cold water for the cycle. To maximize efficiency when washing dishes, be sure to completely fill the machine before operating. Whether the dishwasher is half or completely full, it will use the same amount of water and energy when cycling.
5. Use More Efficient Lighting
Compact fluorescent light (CFL) and light emitting diode (LED) bulbs use less than half as much energy as incandescent bulbs with a dramatically longer lifespan. Available in many different lighting “temperatures” and colors, LED lighting is the clear choice for any homeowner looking to reduce their energy use.
6. Keep Shades Up and Blinds Open
By opening the shades and blinds, we harness the natural heating power of the sun. When dusk approaches, be sure to close the blinds and curtains to block drafts and keep in as much of the heat as possible.
7. Insulate Your Water Heater
The hot water in the tank of your water heater loses its energy through the walls of the tank. By wrapping it in a “Water Heater Blanket” you supply a much needed layer of insulation to keep the heat where it belongs. Extremely affordable and saves roughly $20 a year, this tiny investment will pay for itself within the first year.
8. Install and Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can be set to raise and lower the temperature of your home based on your schedule. When you are away at work, this device can reduce the use of your heating system to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort. Since you know the general time when you return from work, the thermostat can be set to have the home ready for you when you walk through the door.
9. Seal Leaks
Drafts pose the greatest threat to your home comfort in the winter. The expensive heat seeps out, and cold air blows in ruining any chance you had for a thrifty winter. Locate and seal up these leaks in your home envelope with caulk or weather strips.
10. Turn Off Any Unnecessary Items That Draw Power
This includes vampire power. Any device that has remote operation, an LED light, or hibernation mode is still draining energy even though it seems to be “OFF.” This vampire power accounts for 20% of our national power expenditures. Put your electronics on a power strip and when not in use, flip it off.
The key to energy efficiency is awareness. In our day to day lives, we don’t realize how much energy we are using. Electricity is always plentiful and available, so conservation is rarely at the front of our minds. By taking inventory of our habits, we can identify where our reflexes waste energy. Suddenly, you’ll begin to recognize wasteful rituals and alter them for the better. Once this new routine is learned, your bad habits will be replaced by lower energy bills and an eco-friendly lifestyle.
NATIONAL AVERAGE OF HOMEOWNER ENERGY EXPEDITURES