With one major snowstorm behind us already, homeowners throughout the greater Philadelphia area are starting to get their first winter utility bills in the mail. While some might be pleasantly surprised at how little it can cost to keep a home warm, others are frantically searching for ways to lower their heating bills this winter.
If your energy costs are unusually high, there could be a few causes. Your heater may need a simple repair or tune-up, or, your home may need a more thorough inspection from one of Bucks County's top heating companies to find the root of the problem.
In this post, we'll explain some of the main sources of energy loss in the winter that could be running up your heating costs. We'll also give ten ways you can lower your heating bills, so you can save money as much money as possible this winter.
How Can You Lower Your Heating Costs in Winter?
With another El Niño projected for winter 2018-2019, the Northeast is preparing for a harsh, snow-filled season. According to AccuWeather's long-range forecast expert Paul Pastelok, "Philadelphia may wind up 4 to 8 degrees colder this February compared to last February." In addition to the lower temperatures, the mid-Atlantic states should also expect a few large snowstorms in January and February especially.
With a colder-than-average and storm-filled winter in the forecast, heat loss in the home and otherwise inefficient heating systems are likely to run up your energy costs if not addressed soon. To keep your heat costs as low as possible and to avoid a call to an emergency heating repair company in Bucks County, we've compiled the following list of money-saving energy tips for this winter.
10 Tips for Saving Money on Your Energy Bill
From opening curtains during sunny hours to installing a programmable thermostat, here are the top ten ways for you to lower your energy consumption this winter.
1. Take Advantage of Heat from the Sun
Sunlight is a natural source of heat that can help you save money during the winter. Opening your curtains on your windows that get hit by direct sunlight in the morning or afternoon, can help keep the room warmer so your equipment doesn't have to work as hard.
2. Utilize All of Your Home's Heat
When you take a hot shower, your bathroom fills with steam. Instead of turning on the ventilation fan, leave the door open to let the warm air spread into the home. The same can be done after cooking a meal. While you should never use your oven to heat your home for safety reasons, cracking the oven door slightly right after you're finished using it and it is turned off can provide substantial heat to the house.
3. Check the Temperature on Your Water Heater
In the winter months, water heating costs can increase for a few reasons. Taking longer hot showers increases your water-heating demand, and holiday cooking leads to more dishes and more frequent dishwashing. To combat the rising hot water costs of the season, you can lower the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees in the winter.
4. Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is a home upgrade that can yield noticeable energy savings. It allows you to adjust the temperature for when the home is full versus empty, which saves you from unnecessary heating. With modern thermostats, you have a variety of options to help you maximize both comfort and energy use.
5. Find Sources of Heat Loss Around the House
If your utility bills are oddly high, your heating and cooling system are likely losing air somewhere. Check your window frames and doorways for small openings that could be letting in cold air. Windows and doors are two of the biggest sources of heat loss in homes. If you air ducts are damaged, they could be a major contributor to your hefty heating bill. An HVAC company in Bucks County can help locate and fix the problem.
6. Clean Your Indoor Air Filter
If your home is well-sealed and you still notice a higher-than-average bill, it could be as simple as a dirty indoor air filter. A dirty filter can limit airflow and overwork your equipment. To avoid this, you should clean your filters regularly and replace them about once per year. You can do this yourself, or, hire one of our qualified One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Bucks County HVAC technicians to do it for you.
7. Schedule a Heating System Tune-Up
Once a year, before the cold weather sets in, you should schedule a heating system tune-up with your One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Bucks County technicians. A tune-up is part of routine heating maintenance and can help to prevent avoidable equipment breakdowns mid-winter.
8. Consider Installing a Heat Pump
Installing a heat pump can deliver tremendous energy savings as well. By tapping into the natural warmth of the earth deep below the surface, a heat pump can reduce the workload of your equipment, saving you money. Consider installing a heat pump in Bucks County to save considerable money year-round.
9. Look at Energy-Efficient Equipment Upgrades
To save money this and every winter, you should look at energy-efficient equipment upgrades. If your heater is more than ten years old, you should look at installing a newer system or you'll run the risk of a costly breakdown. With a variety of financing options available from most HVAC companies, upgrading your heating equipment may not be as pricey as you think!
10. Learn the Warning Signs of Equipment Failure
If your heating bills are high, it could be a sign your equipment is in distress. Learn to recognize the signs of heating equipment failure and call One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Bucks County quickly before your system breaks down.
Call One Hour to Help You Cut Energy Costs
As a trusted Bucks County HVAC company, we know the most common culprits of high heating costs. Whether your thermostat is outdated or your equipment needs to be inspected, the team at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Bucks County can help fix the problem.
Contact us today to schedule your next service, and check out our special offers to save even more!