With winter right around the corner, many Pennsylvania homeowners aren’t welcoming the anticipated rise in their home heating expenses, which account for more than 30 percent of the average homeowner’s energy bill. Staying warm and comfy when the chilly temperatures arrive doesn’t have to result in outsized heating bills, though. By taking a tour of your home to check on problem areas, smart homeowners can keep the cool weather at bay without breaking the bank. Fixing up the following issues with your heating system can help you cut your bills.
Installing a programmable thermostat is a good way to save on the heating costs, as it can turn your heat up automatically before you get out of bed in the morning, turn it down or off when you leave for work for the day, and pop back on before you return. By turning your thermostat down just one degree while you are sleeping, you can save 2 percent on your energy bill; turn it down five degrees to save up to 10 percent. A new programmable thermometer could end up saving as much 20 percent overall on your winter heating bill.
According to the Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission, homeowners should seal air duct leaks to prevent warm air from escaping your interior. Inspect the ductwork that's accessible in your attic or basement and look for spots where there are gaps or where the ducts have pulled apart at corners and seams, and seal them with metal tape or mastic sealant. The average house with forced-air heating can lose between 20 to 30 percent of indoor air through holes, leaks and incorrectly connected ducts.
Torn or worn weatherstripping around windows and doors will create drafts that let in chilly air—7 to 12 percent of your home’s heat loss is due to drafts. Turning up the heat and causing your furnace to work harder could strain your system and result in the need for emergency furnace repair. Instead, monitor your weatherstripping and replace it every few years; additionally, patch minor gaps around doors and windows using caulk .
The warm air coming from your registers can’t provide even heating if they don’t have a clear path into the room. So, if your favorite sofa or recliner is placed over the register, it will block the path and limit the flow of heat, the same as if the register was partially or completely closed. In order to reduce your heating costs, make sure your home is arranged so that furniture and draperies aren’t obstructing the flow of warm air.
In addition to taking steps to keep your warm air in and the cool air out, now is a good time to schedule a home energy audit with your heating service. By having your heating system checked now, and necessary maintenance or heating repair performed before the weather turns cold, you can stay toasty and warm this winter without worrying about your heating bill. Schedule a consultation today with a professional at DiPaola Quality Climate Control LLC in New Eagle, PA.