As the leaves change colors and the days get shorter, it’s time to transition into your fall routines and rhythms. In order to make your home as comfortable as possible, you’ll begin to pull out the fall decor and clothing. However, you should also consider the ways you can lower your fall expenses, like your energy bill. To lower your fall energy bill, implement these eight steps.
1. Decrease Temperature Settings
Did you know that your water heater and HVAC system are responsible for using a significant amount of energy each month? Don’t worry, though. There are ways to decrease your energy output and save some money on your bills.
One great tip is to lower the temperature of your water heater by a few degrees. While it’s common for people to keep it at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, you don’t need it that high to get hot water. Plus, water heaters experience standby losses, which is the amount of heat they lose while in their waiting mode. By lowering the temperature, you can decrease the standby losses and still maintain access to hot water. Just make sure you don’t set it lower than 120 degrees. You need that threshold to kill germ.
Another way to save energy is by installing a programmable thermostat and setting it between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s important not to adjust it based on how you feel because that can cause energy usage to spike. A programmable thermostat can help you to maintain a consistently comfortable atmosphere while also being lighter on your wallet.
2. Seal Air Leaks
Taking steps to prevent heat from escaping your home is important for both your comfort and your wallet. When warm air escapes outside, you’re essentially throwing money away. Often, people don’t realize where these air leaks are, but they can be isolated.
Paying attention to your energy costs each month can help you identify this issue. If you notice that your utility bill seems high without a corresponding increase in warmth, it’s time to start searching for gaps and leaks around your home. Common areas for leaks include basements and attics as well as windows and doors. To seal leaks around the exterior doors of your house, weatherstripping is useful, while caulking is an excellent option for sealing off any areas around or near windows. By taking these simple steps, you can keep your home warmer and more comfortable while also saving money on your energy bills.
3. Add Insulation
If you want to keep your home comfortable, it’s important to make sure that your insulation is in good condition. Insulation helps to absorb the impact of outdoor temperatures before they can permeate throughout your house. If you have a garage that’s not insulated, you may notice that it feels significantly colder or hotter than the rest of your home. It’s also important to check your insulation if you’ve recently experienced water damage. Water-damaged insulation isn’t effective.
Sometimes, insulation can go bad due to extreme changes in temperature, frozen pipes, or simply age. If you need to replace your insulation, it’s best to call in professionals to ensure that it’s done correctly. Good insulation can last anywhere from 15 to 50 years, so it’s worth the investment. In addition to replacing your insulation, you can make small changes like switching out your light curtains for insulated curtains made from heavier fabrics. You can also apply a window insulation film for extra protection.
4. Pull Out Sweaters, Blankets, and Slippers
Even though it’s lovely to feel warm and cozy at home, there’s no need to crank up the heat to achieve this. A great way to make your house cozy is by using layers. For instance, if you’re planning to work in your home office for a few hours, it’s best to avoid wearing a T-shirt and shorts. Instead, wear a sweater and a pair of pants. You can wear a T-shirt or a turtleneck underneath if your upper body tends to get cold.
When it’s time for a family movie night, give everyone cozy blankets to keep warm and snug. The same applies when it’s bedtime. Swap out your summer linens for thicker blankets that are more suitable for the colder months. Additionally, make sure everyone has warm socks and comfortable house slippers to wear around the house.
5. Upgrade the Windows
Take a closer look at the windows in your home. Depending on how old they are, it may be time to consider replacing them. Even if you’ve tried adding window insulation film and insulated curtains, drafty windows can cost you. That’s where energy-efficient windows come in.
When fall arrives and the air turns crisp and cool, energy-efficient windows will keep the cold air outside where it belongs. Plus, they’re effective at reducing condensation, which can help you to avoid the cost of potential water damage down the line. From a financial standpoint, energy-efficient windows operate as insulators, which means they’ll lower your energy costs each month.
6. Inspect the Chimney
If you’re someone who enjoys a cozy fireplace, it’s important to keep your chimney clean. The fall season is the perfect time to schedule a professional cleaning. When you’re done using the fireplace, always remember to close the damper. Failure to do so will allow the warm indoor air to escape outside. Keep in mind that a fireplace generates its own heat, so if you plan on using it, lower the thermostat and set it between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Strategically Utilize Solar Power
One way to reduce your monthly energy bill is to take advantage of the sunlight. If you have rooms that face the sun at certain times of the day, consider opening the blinds and letting the sunlight in. This will help heat up the room, and you can use a fan to circulate the heat. This trick works best for rooms that face the east in the morning or the west in the evening. Another option is to install passive or active solar space heaters to help heat up your home using the power of the sun. By being strategic with the timing of your efforts, you can save money while staying comfortable in your house.
8. Invest in a Professional HVAC Tune-Up
If your energy bill is higher than usual, your HVAC system may be the culprit. One common cause of high energy bills is a clogged air filter, which can force your system to work harder to distribute air. It’s important to change your air filter regularly, ideally every six months or so.
If you’re already on top of your air filter changes, it’s a good idea to schedule routine maintenance with a professional HVAC technician. This can help to catch small issues before they turn into bigger, more expensive problems. An annual check-up can save money and avoid costly repairs down the road.
Utilizing Professional Services
At Protek Roofing, Heating, Air & Solar in Tampa, we believe it’s best to be proactive when it comes to maintaining your home’s HVAC system. As you enter the fall and prepare for the cooler winter season, schedule your heating maintenance session in order to get the most from your equipment. You can trust us with all your HVAC maintenance, repairs, and installations as well as solar panel installation and all your roofing needs. Our team is always ready to assist, so call us toady.