5 Ways to Keep Your Residential Heating Efficient
Did you know that your heating and cooling costs are some of the largest energy expenses you have? In fact, according to the Department of Energy, space heating is the largest energy expense in the typical American home. It accounts for nearly half of the average household’s home energy bills. That’s why you want to make sure your home’s heating isn’t literally going out the window.
Watts Heating & Cooling is here to help. We’ve been working in the residential heating and cooling business for years. And we’ve helped many families just like yours lower their home energy bills. Here are some of our top tips for making your residential heating more efficient and lowering your energy bill in the process.
Insulate Your Home
You could have the newest, most energy-efficient HVAC system around. But that doesn’t mean much if your home isn’t well insulated.
The first step in insulating your home is typically to perform an energy assessment. This will help determine whether your home is properly insulated and identify areas that are in need of air sealing.
As much as 25 percent of your home’s heat can be lost through cracks and holes in your home. Air sealing your home will reduce the amount of air able to escape through these small crevices. Caulking and weatherstripping are two ways to air seal your home that provide a great return on investment. In fact, most people can recoup the costs of these techniques in the first year alone.
Once your home has been properly air sealed, you’re ready to add insulation. This will reduce heat flow through spaces such as roofs, attics, and basements.
Seal Your Air Ducts
Once you’ve made sure your home is properly insulated, you’ll want to seal your air ducts as well. Air ducts are a series of tubes in the interior of your home’s walls, floors, and ceilings. They’re responsible for carrying the air from your furnace or air conditioner to the rest of your home. Leaky air ducts can cause you to lose hundreds of dollars each year on your home energy bill. That’s why it’s important to make sure they’re thoroughly sealed.
While it’s possible to seal ducts yourself, it’s best to call in a professional to perform the work for you. Ducts are often hard to reach, and locating the air leaks can be extremely difficult for the untrained eye. That’s why air duct sealing that’s done by an HVAC technician can be performed more quickly, easily, and effectively than when it’s performed as a do-it-yourself project.
Upgrade the HVAC System
Insulating your home and sealing up the air ducts should reduce your home’s energy costs. But if you still notice your bill is sky high, then it may be time to upgrade your HVAC system. Generally speaking, you should replace a heat pump or air conditioner when it’s more than 10 years old and a furnace or boiler when it is more than 15 years old. If you’re uncertain whether it’s time to replace your unit, this Home Energy Yardstick can help.
If you do decide it’s time for an upgrade, you should consider upgrading to a unit with the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR®–certified units are highly efficient. When they’re properly installed, they can save you up to 20 percent on home heating and cooling costs.
Get a Programmable Thermostat
Another way to maximize your residential heating efficiency is by installing a programmable thermostat. This allows you to control your home temperature settings in a way that allows you to maximize both your comfort and savings.
With a programmable thermostat, you can adjust the temperature of your home when you’re away for long periods of time. For instance, do you usually work on weekdays and arrive home during the early evening hours? Then you can adjust your thermostat temperature for when you’re away from home and set it to return to your preferred temperature before you arrive back to the house.
According to the Department of Energy, adjusting your programmable thermostat by just 7 to 10 degrees for 8 hours a day can save you up to 10 percent annually. No need to sacrifice your comfort either since temperatures can be adjusted for when you’re sleeping or away from home. Most programmable thermostats allow you to store multiple daily settings as well, making them convenient even for those who have varying routines on any given day of the week.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is key to optimizing the efficiency of your residential heating system. While there are some maintenance tasks you can perform yourself, such as changing your air filters, the major maintenance tasks should only be performed by a skilled professional.
It’s a good idea to have your HVAC technician perform maintenance twice a year. Ideally, you should schedule these appointments for the spring, before things begin to heat up in the summer, and the fall, right before the start of winter. This will help you identify any issues that require your attention before you really start relying on your HVAC system.
In addition to reducing the cost of your utility bills, regular preventative maintenance can also extend the life of your equipment. Watts Heating & Cooling offers annual service agreements to help you streamline the process and reduce your overall expenses.
From installation to maintenance to replacing your HVAC system, Watts Heating & Cooling has you covered. If you think you need a repair or want to upgrade your equipment, we offer free in-home consultation with one of our HVAC specialists.
If it’s time for an upgrade, we’ll help you select a model that meets your comfort preferences and lifestyle. We also offer flexible financing options for your installation, as well as full factory warranties on all labor and equipment. So, if you’re ready to make your residential heating more efficient, give us a call. We’ll make sure you’re not throwing money out the window.