Money-Saving Tips to Reduce Home Heating Costs
When people think about Texas weather, it seems that all they think about are triple-digit temperatures and dry fields. Texans know summers are almost always hot! However, winters can be very cold as well. Texans can experience freezing temperatures, sleet, and snow. What most people do not realize is that heating a home can be just as expensive as cooling one in Texas. In fact, electric whole-home heaters use more electricity than electric whole-home air conditioners. The only reason most people do not realize this is because the use of the air conditioner is guaranteed in Texas during the summer, but the use of the heater in the winter is either hit or miss. The problem is that when the winter weather does arrive in Texas, the electric bill climbs very quickly as that whole-home heater is used! Many of the tips mentioned below will also be beneficial when it comes to cooling your home in the hot months. Check out these tips to help keep your home warm in the winter time and reduce the hit your pocket book may take.
- Windows and Doors: The spaces around your doors and windows can leak precious warm air. Use caulk, weather strips, foam, sealant, and door sweeps to help keep the heat in. If the budget allows, upgrade your windows to more energy-efficient designs.
- Heating and Air conditioning: Look for leaks in your ducts and use duct tape to seal them up. For window units, use caulk or foam around the outside edge of the unit, the indoor covers, or outdoor covers.
- Chimneys: Close the dampers when not in use. It is also a good idea to check the damper for damage.
- Outlets and Switches: Install covers and gaskets around switches in exterior walls. If you feel cold air in the winter, then your hot air is leaking out.
- The Attic: Use expanding foam for leaks around the attic ventilation fans. Closing those fans in the winter completely will also help to keep the hot air in! Check to see that the attic is properly insulated. Old insulation may need to be replaced if it is past its shelf life. A professional can give you an opinion on the condition of your attic insulation.
- Thermostat: Turn it down when you’re not home. You can buy a programmable thermostat that will remember to do this for you. Programmable thermostats can save you 10% or more on your heating and cooling costs.
- Ceiling Fan: Heat rises and most ceiling fans have a switch that will reverse the direction of the blades. This will in turn blow upwards to push that warm air from you ceiling downward, so that it is not trapped high up in your home’s ceiling areas. Once the season has passed, you may simply switch the switch back to its normal setting. This will ensure that the fan blows air downward to again deliver the airflow your home will need to cool it in the warmer months.
- Oven and Dryer: After cooking or drying clothes, leave the door open on these appliances to help heat your house with residual heat. NOTE: Turn off appliances after using, do no leave oven door open while oven is on.
- Heater: If you are not using your whole house why heat all of it? By investing in a space heater and only heating the room you are in you can reduce the size of your energy bill. You may also want to close the vents in rooms that are not in use to avoid heating or cooling those rooms as well.