Achieving long-term energy efficiency in your home assures you that the heating costs will be lower this winter and you will be more comfortable. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to meet this goal, and your benefits start immediately.
- Increase insulation. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that you have at least 16 inches of insulation in your attic. Unless your attic is difficult for you to move around inside, adding fiberglass batt or blown-in insulation is a project within the ability of most homeowners. Meanwhile, getting an insulating blanket from the home improvement center can lower the standby losses from your water heater, as well. If it’s gas, you may want the assistance of a plumber or HVAC technician. Regardless of the water heater type you have, turn the thermostat down to 120 degrees, especially if you insulate it.
- Seal the leaks. Air leaks throughout your home drive up your heating costs. Seal cracks around the window frames with silicon caulk and apply fresh weatherstripping if your exterior doors allow light to shine through.
- Deal with the windows. Get thermal and/or Energy Star-certified windows. Get used to managing your window/curtain/shade strategy for the time of day and season, blocking solar heat in the summer and keeping out the cold in winter.
- Replace existing appliances with Energy Star products for long-term energy efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat for long-term energy efficiency. It’s easy to forget to turn the heat down when you leave home or go to bed. These thermostats do the work for you.
- Change or clean the air filter for the furnace or A/C blower. Nothing drives up heating costs faster than a clogged filter. It slows the passage of air through the blower, which makes your system run longer and work harder.
- Have your heating system serviced annually. Not only does this lower operating costs, it can keep you safer during the heating season if your system uses combustible fuel.
To learn more long-term energy efficiency and your home heating system, please contact us at Ernst Heating & Cooling. We’ve provided quality HVAC services for the Metro-East area since 1951.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hamel, Illinois and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about long-term energy efficiency and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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