How to Save Energy This Winter
If you’ve heard of the term “heat or eat,” you may also know that many people have a very real problem when temperatures are falling at this time of year. Energy bills are known to rise this time of year, which can be a financial burden for some. The good news is that there are ways to keep your energy levels low. In the article, our HVAC company in Minneapolis, MN, shares how to save energy this winter.
Deal with Draughts
Gaps in your doors, windows, and floors will let cool air in and warm air out. So consider mounting the drag excluders on your doors and windows. You may use an appropriate sealant, insulating strips, wooden beads, or even paper pieces. Rolled-up blankets make excellent draught excluders under your doors, too.
Floors with holes and cracks are also responsible for heat loss, so check your floors carefully and consider getting any gaps sealed with a silicone-based sealant. Look out for other areas that can also be left in cold air. But never cover air vents, as the air vent may increase the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
In the meantime, if your windows are not double-glazed, it’s a good idea to close your curtains, blinds, or shutters when the sun sets-but leave them open throughout the day as the sun shines through your windows will help your room stay warm.
Avoid Leaving Devices On
Try not to leave electrical equipment such as TVs, DVD players, laptop boxes, cell phone chargers, and other standby appliances. If they’re on standby, they’re still turned on, which means they’re wasting their resources instead of leaving them on standby, switching them off completely. Our friends at Specialized AV, a Norcal audio and video company, adds that there are plenty of smart home automation systems that will help you save time and money.
Insulate Your Home
There are substantial energy savings to be made if your home is well-insulated. For example, experts say that about a quarter of the heat from homes goes straight out of a roof with no proper insulation. You can insulate your roof, cavity walls, and even solid walls, and even place insulation under your floorboards, all of which can contribute to lower energy bills as well as a warmer home climate.
Depending on the type of water heater you have, you might also want to insulate your hot water tank and pipes, which will help keep your water cooler for a longer period of time. You can get relatively inexpensive foam tubes to cover the pipes between your hot water tank and the boiler.
Keep Heating Under Control
Installing a thermostat, timer, and thermostatic radiator valve can help you save also. This ensures that you can configure the timer to switch your heating on before you get up or before you get home, which saves more energy compared to turning your thermostat up to warm up your home instantly. Individual thermostat valves on your radiators will also give you control over which rooms you want to heat and which temperature you want to heat.
Bleeding your radiator might be helpful as well since trapped air in the radiators will make them hotter and less effective. Plus, try not to position the furniture directly in front of the radiators, as it might mean that the heat will be absorbed into the furniture rather than heat the air.
Our Minneapolis HVAC techs highly recommend smart heating controls. These are the latest technologies that help you monitor your heating remotely through your smart device.
Turn Your Thermostat Down
Reducing your room temperature by just 1° could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%. If you’re healthy and under 65, you can comfortably get your home cooler than 65°F if you’re relaxed. Otherwise, heat your home to at least 65°F.
You will also want to turn the thermostat down on your water heater tank, as it saves both water and power, so you don’t need too much cold water to keep the temperature of your bath or shower warm.
Switch to LED Bulbs
Replacing all of your light bulbs with energy-saving LED bulbs might be an expense, but it’s worth it. Many LED light-bulbs are rated life of up to 50,000 hours, which means that if you use them 12 hours a day, they will last more than 11 years. LED bulbs often use less energy than other bulbs.
An average household will spend $134, replacing all its LED bulbs. But that will save about $47 a year on expenses. So if you’re not replacing them for 11 years, you’re going to save a huge amount. Although LED is still a relatively new lighting technology, the prices have fallen. Find them in your nearest supermarket or DIY shop.
Often strive to get into the habit of turning off the lights when you don’t need them. Switching off the light for just a few seconds saves more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, no matter what sort of bulb you use. This will save you about $19 on your annual energy bill.
Service Your Home’s Boiler
If your Minneapolis home has gas or oil central heating, try to ensure that your boiler is serviced every year by a professional heating company in Minneapolis, MN. If, on the other hand, your boiler is getting old, it could be worth replacing it with a more powerful one that could save you money in the long run and keep your home warm. New boilers are expensive-usually around $3,000.
If you’re concerned about how to save energy this winter, contact McQuillan Bros. One of our HVAC techs will examine your heating and cooling systems and plumbing to see if there are ways to improve. If you’re looking to save on HVAC repairs or plumbing repairs, check out our coupons and special offers.