Saving Money This Winter’s Heating Bill
As we begin another cold Montana winter, you thoughts may be turning to the rising cost of heating your home. The Home Comfort Team at Design Air recognizes the importance of energy conservation and is here to help you curb those ever rising energy costs with a few simple recommendations.
Look For and Seal Off Air Leaks Around Your Home
Search for those problematic, drafty areas. This could be around doors, windows, wall- or window-mounted air conditioners, attic or crawlspace hatches, and penetrations from the exterior of the home for utilities such as electric, gas, phone, and cable services. Once these areas have been located, install or replace worn-out weather stripping and use a weather resistant caulk to seal any remaining gaps and cracks.
Cover Drafty Windows
Simply sealing your windows with a window covering kit from your local hardware store can reduce heat loss by up to 50%. These insulation kits are an easy, inexpensive option and when installed per the instructions, provide an effective insulative barrier between the window and the warmth in your house.
Insulate Your Attic
Since heat rises, it should come as no surprise that a considerable amount of heat is lost through the roof of your home. Check the insulation levels in your attic or have a professional perform a home energy audit to insure adequate depth and fill coverage. For Montana (Zone 6), the Department of Energy recommends an R-Value of R49-R60.
Have Your Furnace Maintenance Performed an HVAC Professional
Routine annual maintenance on your furnace allows for regular adjustments and cleaning of critical furnace components. When proper maintenance is performed, not only can problems be spotted and addressed prior to breakdown, but your furnace runs at optimum efficiency providing you with the most heat for the least cost.
Change Your Furnace Filter Regularly
A clean filter is essential to making sure your furnace can run as efficiently as possible. A dirty filter restricts air flow which causes the unit to work harder than necessary to maintain a constant temperature. Your filter should be changed every 4-6 weeks for a 1-2” filter, or 6 months to a year for a 4-5” wide media filter depending on how often your HVAC system is used.
Adjust Your Thermostat Temperature
Lowering the set temperature on your thermostat during the wintertime can also save on energy costs. Start by turning the thermostat as low as possible within your comfort level while at home. When you are away, set the thermostat for 10-15 degrees lower. Having a programmable thermostat installed can also help regulate the temperature automatically to fit your schedule. By simply setting the temperature lower, 5-15% a year can be saved on your heating bill – savings as much as 1% for each degree if the setback period is for eight hours or more.
Turn Down the Temperature on Your Water Heater
Most water heaters are set by default to 140 degrees. Check the settings on your water heater by locating the dial on the unit and adjusting it to 120 degrees. For most, 120 degrees is adequate for all their needs.
Call the Design Air team today to schedule your furnace’s annual maintenance, repair, or replacement to ensure your family’s comfort during the upcoming cold season!