Posted: October 27, 2014
Below are some simple steps you can follow to get your heating system ready for the cold months. Take advantage of a cool day to keep your home warm this winter.
For hot air systems – check to see that vents in the house allow air to flow.
Your home’s vents make sure that the air inside your home can be circulated properly. Thermostats are set to specific settings to make sure that your home’s air is circulated and heated properly to keep your system working efficiently.
If vents are not allowing air to flow because of an obstruction or clogged filters, your system will need to work extra hard to heat all the areas of your home evenly. This leads to even higher energy bills and more headaches from an easily solved problem. Simply examine your vents and ensure that air can pass through.
You save 1% on your annual heating bill for each degree you dial down, as long as the setback period is at least 8 hours. At an average cost of $150, a programmable thermostat is a great investment. You can automatically lower the temperature at night or during the day when the house is empty.
Remove all flammable objects from around your heating system and water heater.
This tip seems obvious, but can be very dangerous for your home. Make sure that paper products, boxes, aerosols, and other flammable products are kept away from your furnace and water heater, especially if your furnace and water heater are kept in a small room.
If you combined all the gaps around windows and doors of an average home, you would end up with a 9-square-foot hole in your wall. Nearly half of all the energy used in a home escapes through that “hole.” To save money, use caulk to fill gaps, cracks, and small holes in areas where:
- A wall and the outside frame of a window or door come together.
- Floors meet outside walls.
- Pipes and cables enter your home.
Use weather stripping to stop drafts around the edges of doors and windows. It’s ideal for older windows, which usually have gaps between the window sash and sill. You can also install a weather stripping “sweep” at the bottom of doors to block drafts.
Set back and save.
At an average cost of $150, a programmable thermostat is a great investment. You can automatically lower the temperature at night or during the day when the house is empty. You save 1% on your annual heating bill for each degree you dial down, as long as the setback period is at least 8 hours.
Control heat output and save 10% or more.
Modulating aquastats or outdoor reset controls can be added to your boiler system. These controls automatically adjust the boiler’s water temperature depending on the outdoor temperature. If it’s not cold outside, your boiler’s water doesn’t have to get as hot, which conserves fuel. There will also be less heat lost through the pipes when your boiler shuts off.
Prevent further heat loss by limiting exhaust fan use and closing the damper when you’re not using your fireplace.
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