by Dan Broderick
(Chicago, Illinois, USA)
Whether you like it or not and whether you come prepared or not, winter is coming. So better not sit on your couch and wait for it to come like a dooms day, move and be prepared!
Winter means one thing: cold air. But for those who are conscious enough to notice, winter means larger electric bills. Yes, it is true. Aside from summer, winter is the season of the year where your electric bills skyrocket to digits that cost you financial burden. Why? Because we need to warm our home. Our home should have the right temperature to give us comfort. And the modern way to do it is by turning on our heating system. This consumes the biggest portion of our electric bill. Fortunately, we have the whole Fall to prepare for it. And to prepare for it means that we must have the right tool and proper information on how to save during the coming season.
The fireplace – Getting our fireplace ready will certainly yield to better savings; and fall is the best time to clean and repair our fireplace. Make sure that the dumper is tightly sealed when not using them. A small space would let the cold air rush in and send the warm air out. If you were using electric heating system, an opening on the fireplace would mean bigger work to maintain the place warm. Let professional contractor to do the proper maintenance. They are certainly more capable in securing your fireplace.
When you decide to use the fireplace, you can turn down your heater. This will save you as much as 8% on heating cost.
The furnace – The furnace will work extra effort if the filter is full of dirt. This will equate to energy waste since the furnace will consume more power against the service it brings. To avoid this, make sure that your filter is clean. The owner’s manual will tell you how to clean the filter. A clean filter will let you breath clean air around your house. A clean filter saves you 5% on heating cost.
The duct – Small leaks on duct will certainly result to lost heat so make sure that this is regularly checked. Usually ducts are located on unheated places. This is another reason why heat is lost. Insulate the ducts by wrapping it with R-6 or higher fiberglass. Never use cloth-backed tapes. You can also wrap them with UL-approved metallic or plastic tapes and mastic sealants. The note that leaking ducts work 30% more on your heating system so make sure they are sealed and secured.
The solar heat – You need not have solar panels on your roof to use the sun as the source of heat. All you have to do is use open your drapes during the day to warn your room without using electricity. Just close them at night to keep the warn air inside. Reduction of the use of heating system during the day will let you cut as much as 10% on your electric consumption
The openings – Openings on your doors, windows, joints and sills will let the cold air outside to go in and the warm air from the inside to go out. Make sure that these openings are sealed with either sealant or weatherstripping. It will help reduce the work of the heating system immensely.
The thermostat – A programmable thermostat or a centralized heating system will let you save on the heating cost. The programmable thermostat will let you set your desired room temperature on a specific period of the day. This is much useful if you are leaving your home or are going to sleep overnight. The centralized heating system on the other hand will give you the ultimate control on the temperature of every room. These 2 will let you decide how warm a room could be. One interesting thing to note is that a centigrade lower on your heating system will let your save you as much as 5% on your heating cost.
The water heater – Households can set the heating system between 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. This range is ideal on both mobile homes and regular homes.
Click here to read more about energy efficient home heating