As the weather turns cold in Hampton Roads and southeastern Virginia, home heating bills skyrocket. There are ways to save on home heating costs without compromising indoor comfort. Some are easy for a homeowner to do while others are best left to a professional.
Keep Your Heating Unit in Tip-Top Shape
Keeping the air conditioner and furnace filter clean reduces energy usage. Dirty filters prevent air from circulating freely through the system, making the compressor work harder than it needs to. Clean the filter regularly and replace it at least every three months (or according to manufacturer’s instructions).
Annual tune-ups keep equipment running properly. Seasonal HVAC maintenance inspects the entire system:
- Lubricates all moving parts
- Checks refrigerant levels
- Cleans drip pan and tubing
- Calibrates thermostat
- Checks electrical connections
- Cleans coils
Well-maintained systems cost less to operate, reduce breakdowns and extend the life of a unit.
Turn Down the Thermostat
Although it’s nice to come home to a warm house on a cold day, it wastes energy to heat a house for hours when no one’s there. Turning the thermostat back while you sleep or when you’re away for extended periods of time saves between 10 and 20 percent annually on cooling and heating costs. For each degree the thermostat is turned back for eight hours, energy usage is reduced between 1 and 4 percent. Programmable thermostats allow you to select the day of the week and time of day to turn down furnaces or air conditioners and when to restore normal temperatures so that your indoor environment is comfortable when you need it.
Make Use of Sunlight
Use the sun’s warmth to heat during winter. Open curtains and blinds on sunny days to help heat your rooms. During the summer months, close the blinds to keep the sun’s heat out. Low-emissivity coatings on windows can be oriented to keep out solar radiation during warm months or to allow solar rays to penetrate the glass during cold months.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit
Do some rooms feel drafty or stay cooler than others? An energy audit assesses the energy efficiency of your home and recommends ways to reduce energy usage. The audit looks at:
- Amount of insulation in the attic, walls and basement or sub-floor
- Air leaks around electrical outlets, pipes, windows and doors
- The efficiency of your HVAC equipment
- How much you spend on energy during a year
Recommendations to improve efficiency take into account your indoor comfort requirements and budget.
Weather Makers Heating and Air Conditioning has served communities around Chesapeake, Virginia, for more than 30 years. We are a full-service HVAC company providing new installations, scheduled maintenance, repair and 24-hour emergency service on all makes and models of heating and cooling equipment. We specialize in geothermal heat pumps, tailoring underground loops to the layout of your site. Please give us a call to find out more about how we can help you reduce energy usage and improve your indoor comfort.