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Reduce Your Heating Costs without Sacrificing Comfort

This time of year, many of us resist turning on our heat in an effort to delay the high cost of heating our homes – which can be about half of a residential energy bill. But did you know that you can use your heat AND save money at the same time? In this month’s blog, the home comfort specialists at Main Stream Mechanical tell you how.

Why is My Heating Bill so High?

With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas, and other fuels, you may see a jump in your heating bill by as much as 54% over last winter. Other factors, such as poorly sealed windows and doors or a lack of proper insulation will also add to your heating costs.

Low-cost Energy-saving Habits:

While you can’t control the costs of fuel, you can prevent heat loss and reduce your heating bill with these energy-saving habits for you and your family.

  • Layer up with warm socks, an extra sweater, or use a blanket while you’re lounging.

  • Let the warm sunshine into your home by opening up your shades, blinds, or curtains on a sunny day.

  • Use your oven to bake or cook. The heat will help to warm up your kitchen.

  • Turn the thermostat down a few degrees to significantly lower your heating bills.

  • Close doors and windows tightly and test for air leaks along the sides or bottoms.

  • Turn your ceiling fan on and set the blades clockwise to circulate the warm air that’s trapped near the ceiling.

  • Move furniture a few feet away from heating vents so they don’t block the air flow.

  • Seal your ducts to keep warm air from seeping out.

Sometimes even the best energy habits can still leave you uncomfortably cold. If you think there is significant heat loss in your home, consider these sources:

  • Filters - Filters in forced-air heating systems can become dirty with trapped dust and debris. A clogged filter can affect your system’s efficiency. Boost your furnace’s performance by replacing the filter at the beginning of the heating season (more frequently if you have pets in your home).

  • Heating System - Annual maintenance on your unit will always help it operate efficiently and at peak performance. An optimized system requires less heating fuel. During your annual service, your technician may recommend replacing or upgrading your heating system as an older unit uses more energy than a new or more energy-efficient system. After the initial replacement, you will end up paying less for energy over time.

  • Insulation - Adding insulation to your walls or attic can help lower your heating costs each month by reducing the percentage of heat loss through your roof and walls. An energy audit can help you identify those areas in your home that are losing heat. Visit NHSaves or MassSave to find an auditor in your area.

  • Thermostat - Upgrading to a programmable thermostat enables you to adjust the temperature based on your family's routines. You can schedule it to a lower temperature when you’re out of the house or sleeping, and program it to a higher temperature when you’re home.

Home Heating System Maintenance and Cleaning

Prepare for the cold weather months by scheduling your annual HVAC maintenance and cleaning appointment. We’ll help you get a jump start on your energy savings this season.

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