Before the cold weather hits, many homeowners start to think of ways to efficiently heat their homes. The need for constant heat can significantly increase the energy bills for a household. Fortunately for your budget, there are ways you and your family can stay warm and avoid huge energy costs this winter:
- Add insulation. Some homes are fitted with just enough insulation to meet the building codes standards in that area. Unfortunately, this does not guarantee the best protection from cold air. Although re-insulating the home requires opening the walls, it can pay off in energy savings.
- Seal gaps around electrical boxes. One of the last places that many homeowners think about when it comes to tracking down drafts is the area around electrical boxes. However, the small gaps between the wiring and boxes allow significant air in and out of the home. Filling the space with caulk or another sealant can make a difference.
- Cut down on exhaust fan usage. In cold weather, an exhaust fan can work against your heating system. It works by pulling in the heat and if left on too long, your heating system will continue to struggle to heat the home. If possible, avoid using the fan altogether.
- Seal the chimney. Warm heat rises and a closed chimney flue is not enough to keep all the heated air in. The use of a chimney balloon can help to prevent air from floating out of the home. The balloon even has a built-in safety feature that causes it to automatically deflate if the fireplace is ignited.
- Insulate your flooring. If you have hardwood, linoleum, or tile flooring, they will seem colder during the winter. The cold flooring will help to keep a chill in the air. Covering the flooring with rugs temporarily until winter has passed can help.
- Free the heating vents. If the vents in your home are obstructed, the flow of heated air could be hindered. As a result, the heating system will push to run longer to heat the home. Moving furniture, rugs, and other obstructive items can prevent this.
- Inspect the heating system. The most important step you could take towards lowering your energy bills is to ensure your heating system is operating at its best. An HVAC contractor can check for leaks, inspect the hoses, and make any necessary repairs to the system that could have led to a breakdown later.
Contact a company like HELP Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric for more information and assistance.