Heat

Tips on How to Keep the Heat in your House for Winter Storm

As the weather becomes cooler and our thermostats get turned up, our electric bill goes up as well. There are a number of low cost ways to winterize your home and save on energy costs. Some are even tax deductible. Here are some tips to keep the heat in your house this winter, as we prepare for 2018's first winter storm.

Tips for Winterizing Your Home

Tip #1 - Sealing Leaks in Home

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Sealing leaks around windows and doors can prevent the cold air from entering your home. A draft snake placed in front your door will keep warm air from seeping out. They can be made by simply rolling up a towel or other piece of fabric. Make sure all windows are closed properly and remove window unit air conditioners that allow air to escape. Caulking gaps around doors and windows with silicone caulk provides a temporary seal that won’t damage paint. Another inexpensive solution is to tape bubble wrap over leaking windows. It will trap pockets of air that cool down your home.

Tip #2 - Using Natural Heating Sources

Opening up the blinds to take advantage of solar energy will reduce heating costs. You can also lower energy consumption by turning down the thermostat when cooking or leaving the home. Close off vents and shut doors to rooms you don’t use often to avoid wasting energy to heat unused space. Reversing the direction of airflow on your ceiling fans will help circulate warm air throughout the home.

Tip #3 – Home Heating System Check-up

Ensure that your heating system has been properly maintained. Change or clean the filter and have ductwork inspected for leaks. Make sure the ductwork is clean and not blocked by dirt or debris. Vacuum it out and seal any leaks. Have your HVAC system serviced annually to provide needed adjustments and replace any worn parts. If you need to replace an older furnace or decide to upgrade, choosing an Energy Star rated system can save you 50 percent or more on home heating costs.

Tip #4 - Home Insulation

Insulating your pipes with fiberglass insulation or foam rubber will not only protect them from freezing but prevent heat loss from water. This can reduce the cost of heating water substantially. Sufficient insulation between walls, in the attic and basement ceiling can also help minimize the cost of keeping your home heated. The federal government provides tax incentives for home energy improvements including insulation. Contact your state agency to learn more about energy programs and your eligibility.

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14 Ways to keep your home cool this summer!

1. Use a programmable thermostat
                - These are easy-to-use and essential for year-round energy savings. Tip: gradually lower the air temperature to keep your unit from working overtime when it doesn't need to; this will also prevent your fan from freezing.

2.  Keep your thermostat away from heat (non-programmable)
               
- Try not to place lamps, TVs, or other heat-producing appliances near your thermostat. This will make the thermostat run longer than it actually needs to.

3. Keep your A/C unit in the shade
               
- Your machine will have an easier time cooling if the air around it is cool as well. This also helps your machine to run more efficiently. Be sure to keep plants and shrubs about 2 to 4 feet away to ensure proper air flow to/from the unit.

4. Weatherize your home
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Seal all air conditioning ducts and insulate ducts that run through unheated basements, crawl spaces, and attics. This keeps the cool air exactly where it’s supposed to be, inside!

5. Ceiling Fans
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If your home has ceiling fans, program them to run counterclockwise in the summer to push the air down. (If the upward angled side is rotating ahead, it will push air down. If the downward angled side is rotating ahead, it’s will lift the air up.)

6. Change your filters monthly
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Dirty filters kill you’re A/Cs efficiency. Replace or clean (if you’ve got the washable type) them every month. Check out your filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value – the higher the number, the better the filtration; and the more energy it needs to pull air through.

7. Avoid heating appliances
               
- Try to avoid using the oven, stove, dishwasher, or clothes dryer during the heat of the day. The heat produced by these appliances can dramatically increase the temperature in an area of your house.

8. Vents, vents, vents!
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Close vents in rooms that are not being used. Install vent deflectors if the air is not cooling the areas you’d like. Also, vacuum the vents as needed to keep the air flowing efficiently.

9. Change your furnace filters monthly (or switch to "Summer Mode")
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Many people forget about their furnace during the summer. If you’ve got central air and a ducted home, your furnace fan plays an essential part in blowing cool air through your house. Without proper maintenance, the cold air can freeze your furnace fan and increase your monthly payments.

10. Keep blinds and curtains closed
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We all love the natural light during the summer, but keeping your blinds open during hours of direct sunlight can have a negative impact on your A/C bill. Closing the blinds and curtains will keep your home from becoming a mini-greenhouse and can save you up to 7% on your bill.

11. Change the sheets
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It’s nice to freshen up a room with some new sheets, but it’s also a great way to keep cool. Flannels and fleece blankets are good for insulation in the winter, but are not ideal when summer time comes around. Cotton, on the other hand, is light and breathable – perfect for the warmer months.

12. Check your duct work
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If the ducts aren’t matching up correctly, or if one has a leak, you could end up cooling the inside of your walls instead of the inside of your rooms. We recommend having a professional inspect your duct work every 3-5 years.

13. Focus on you!
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How did our ancestors survive without air conditioning?! Regulating your internal temperature is just as effective as keeping the air on. Sip on some refreshing icy drinks and select cooler clothing options.

14. Upgrade
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If you have an older central air conditioner, consider replacing the outdoor compressor with a modern, high-efficiency unit. Just make sure that it is properly matched to the indoor unit.

 

 

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