Energy Efficiency: Turning On And Off The Heat

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When the weather is cold out, you may try many tricks to reduce your energy costs. You might wear three layers of clothing, only heat a few rooms, and shut off the heat when you are at work. Some of these methods work better than others, however. You need to know what actions actually help you conserve energy and lower your utility bills.

Slow Heat Changes

When you return to a cold home, you may be tempted to flip the thermostat up to heat-stroke heights just to speed up the return of warm air. Experts say that this move is a mistake. Your home is going to take a while to heat up and setting the heat too high just raises your fuel costs. Set the thermostat where you want the heat to settle and try and be patient. 

Keep It Warmish

You want to be comfortable, but you need to keep the heat down as low as you can handle. For every degree you reduce the thermostat, you can save 3% on your heating costs. At night, you should turn the heat down by 15 degrees to maximize savings. Of course, for the cold-blooded, these steps may seem extreme. That's why wearing layers combined with a big fluffy comforter is an excellent idea. Don't freeze: just keep things turned down to a reasonable level.

HVAC Checkups

Staying warm and saving money means having your system checked and serviced regularly. You should have a tune-up in the fall and maybe again in the spring. Heating service professionals can make sure that your ductwork is clear of debris and allows maximum air flow. They can also make certain that your thermostat is properly calibrated. More importantly, they can check the ignition system and the electrical connections to make sure your furnace is safe. They will also look for gas or fuel leaks.  All of these things will help ensure that your system is running smoothly and efficiently.

You need to balance your need to save money with comfort. If turning down the heat too low makes you miserable, just accept the fact that your energy bills will be higher than someone who wears shorts in zero degree temperatures. However, you can make sure your system is running correctly and keep the thermostat turned down as far as you can comfortably stand. Don't try and change your house temperature drastically in a few minutes, either. Just practice moderation and pray for an early spring.