If you're frustrated with a high utility bill during the winter, you're not alone. Many homeowners want their house to be comfortable but don't want to face a massive heating bill. Fortunately, you may be able to improve your heating system's efficiency with some easy changes. Here are six ways to boost your heating efficiency and reduce your utility expenses:
1. Replace the Air Filter
Changing the air filter is one of the simplest steps you can take to optimize your heating system, but the results are noticeable. Clogged or dirty air filters reduce the amount of warm air that can travel into your home, which makes your heating system work harder to keep up. This results in an increased heating bill and a colder home in the winter.
Different systems require you to change the air filter at different intervals, but it's generally recommended to clean or replace the filter every one to three months. You may notice an improvement in your air quality after changing the filter, too.
2. Seal the Ducts
Leaky ducts are a common reason for heating inefficiency and increased energy bills. Even a small leak requires the heating system to work much harder to maintain a comfortable temperature.
Carefully inspect the ductwork for cracks or holes. You can patch up leaks with metal tape or mastic sealant to prevent warm air from escaping the system. However, if the seals are severely worn down, they may need professional repair.
3. Cover Your Windows
If your windows are drafty, seal the edges with weather stripping or sealing foam. Even if the windows don't leak air, covering them up can prevent warm air from escaping or cold air from coming in. Heavy-duty, insulating curtains or shades can make a big difference for your heating system as well.
4. Insulate Your Pipes
For the average household, the hot water heater accounts for a sizable portion of the energy bill. Insulating the hot water pipes is an excellent way to ease the burden on your heating system, and it reduces the amount of time you have to wait for your water to heat up.
Pipe insulation can be pricey, so you'll have to decide whether the long-term savings on your heating bill are worth the up-front cost of the job. If you live in an area with particularly cold winters, it's likely a worthwhile expense.
5. Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is an investment, but it can save you a significant sum of money over time. Smart thermostats can be precisely programmed to maintain different temperatures throughout the day. For example, you could program your thermostat to slightly drop the temperature when you leave for work and increase it before you get home. By setting up a schedule, you can easily reduce your energy usage.
Smart thermostats allow you to control temperature settings room by room as well. You could set your thermostat for a warmer temperature in your living room during the evening and a warmer temperature in your bedroom at night. By adjusting your heating settings based on when you spend time in each room, you won't waste energy heating an unoccupied space.
6. Schedule a Tune-up
All HVAC systems need occasional inspections and tune-ups. By staying up-to-date on preventative maintenance, you'll keep your heating system in great working condition and avoid problems that cause inefficiency. Making a small repair today is much easier than having to schedule a major overhaul or replacement in the future.
You don't have to turn down your thermostat to chilly temperatures to reduce your energy usage. By making some upgrades, adding more insulation, and scheduling regular maintenance, you can improve your heating system's efficiency and cut down on your heating bill!
For your heating and cooling needs, contact West Coast Air Conditioning at (805) 954-9195! We are here to ensure you’re satisfied with your home comfort.