There comes a time every year when we need to turn on the furnace. Yes, even in Los Angeles. And just like everyone else in the country, we see our utility bills shoot up the second the heater is turned on.
For those wondering, there are ways you can lower heating bills, we’ve outlined 10 of our favorite methods below.
10 Best Ways to Lower Heating Bills:
1. Seal Any Air Leaks
Even the smallest cracks can send money flying out the window. Air leaks—from your windows, doors, or light fixtures—can make up 25% to 40% of your heating bill.
The good news is that there is something you can do to fix this. The next time the winds are kicking up, grab a piece of paper and get to work.
Start by holding the piece of paper up to your closed windows. If the paper flaps in the breeze, your window is no longer sealed. You’ll need to either weatherstrip the window or find the crack and seal it. Next, you’ll want to do the same for your light fixtures.
Finally, visually inspect your front and back door. Check the weatherstripping around the door and look for any cracks in the frame. Seal them up and call it a job well done.
2. Leave the Curtains Open
Sunlight is powerful. So powerful that we tell you to close all your drapes and blinds during the summer, so your home doesn’t become an oven.
During the winter, harness the heat power of the sun by leaving your curtains and blinds open. It’s the same principle, although this time you’ll want your home to be an oven.
Leaving your blinds open during the day allows for the sun to naturally warm your home, just make sure to close the blinds at sundown to retain that heat.
3. Dress for the Season
Most Angelinos have a sweater or two buried in the back of their closet. Now is finally the time to pull them out!
An easy way to keep the thermostat down is by actually dressing for the season. Put on some layers and take them off as your start to get warm.
This theory also applies to your home décor. Put flannel sheets on the bed and a blanket on the couch. Also, remember to put a rug or two down if you have hardwood floors.
4. Check and Change Your Air Filter
If there’s one piece of advice we could give to all homeowners, it’s to check your air filter more often. We’ve found that too many homeowners have never even looked at their air filter, let alone changed it out.
Though the air filter is a small component of your HVAC system, it plays two very important roles. First, it keeps dust from settling in, and potentially clogging, parts of your furnace. And second, the air filter traps harmful airborne particles to keep your air safe and clean.
Over time and with use any air filter can get dirty and clogged. This can lead to a few problems. An overfull air filter can’t trap any dust, dander, or other particles. This deems it pretty much useless. Your system will get dirty, and your indoor air won’t be clean.
Another issue with an overfull filter is that it adds to your monthly utility bills. With a clean air filter, any treated air from your furnace can freely pass thorough without resistance. Full air filters prevent air from freely moving. Instead that air needs to be forced through.
The extra push also puts needless strain on your furnace which could leak to big repairs down the line.
5. Close the Doors
There’s a big difference between closing the door and closing the vents. There’s a rumor floating around that sealing off the air vents in unused rooms will help lower your energy bill. This is not true.
Even if a vent is closed, your furnace is still programmed to make enough air for the entire house. This means the HVAC system is stuck with extra air that has nowhere to go. This extra air forces pressure to buildup within the system and can even break a hole in the ductwork.
Instead, close the doors to any unused rooms. Air can circulate throughout the room and keep that area up to the furnace’s temperature standards. In turn, the furnace is told that room is warm and not to produce more air said room.
This small break can make a difference on your monthly utility bill.
6. Check Your Insulation
Insulation plays an important role in the overall comfort of your home. During the summer, it keeps cool air in, and during the winter, it preserves any warm air in your home.
A good thing about insulation is that you can go years without checking it. However, it’s important to not forget about your insulation.
Insulation can fail early under certain conditions. Moisture being the biggest one. Too much moisture can damage your insulation so much you’ll need to replace it.
During a yearly furnace tune-up, an HVAC technician can take a look at your insulation and let you know if needs an update or it has more life left in it.
7. Use the Oven
The most fun way to keep your home warm is by cooking or baking something on the stove! It’s even better when you can cook something with the whole family.
Running the heat on your oven or stove is a great way to naturally warm your home. Just remember to turn everything off after you’re done. If you’ve baked something, turn off the oven and leave the door open a crack. This allows the heat built up in the oven to waft around the house.
8. Turn Down the Thermostat
Turning down the thermostat when it’s cold out doesn’t seem like a good idea, but trust us when we say it is. Also, the recommended winter temperature for your thermostat is 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
68 degrees sounds low, but it’s enough to keep your home nice and cozy, and keep your energy bills down. It’s important to remember that furnaces only heat a specific amount of air at a time.
This means that no matter how high you crank the thermostat, your home won’t get warmer faster. By setting an even temperature, and dressing for the season, 68 degrees is enough to keep you nice and warm.
9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace
We love a good fire during the winter. Especially when you can gather your family together and bask in the warm glow. However, after all is said and done, don’t forget to close your chimney damper.
A lot of warm air, and money, is lost through the chimney. The next time you light a fire, remember to close the damper after the fire is fully extinguished.
It’s also just as important to remember to open the damper before starting the fire. Starting a fire with a closed damper means your home will fill with smoke and it could create a potentially dangerous situation.
10. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up
After changing the air filter, the next best thing you can do for your furnace and HVAC system is to schedule routine maintenance.
At Adeedo, we recommend two tune-ups per year. Once in the spring before it’s time to turn on the AC and once in the fall before it’s furnace season.
During a furnace tune-up, one of our expert HVAC technicians will inspect and clean every part of your system. This ensures that any issues are taken care of on the spot and all problems are addressed before they become big issues.
To meet your HVAC expert, call the number at the top of the screen or click here to schedule an appointment online.