It’s been a cold one this year, and you might not have felt the relief you wanted from your home comfort system. It could be that you have noticed hot or cold spots around the home or never felt quite warm enough at all. And that may be something you thought you’d have to put up with for a long time to come.
Boehmer Heating & Cooling Blog: Posts Tagged ‘insulation’
With temperatures in the 80s and 90s, you may be wondering why we would be talking about insulation. After all, insulation is a winter season thing, not a summer season thing, right? Not exactly. While insulation is most associated with keeping in warmth during the winter months, its function isn’t for that alone: it’s for slowing the transfer of heat. This is why having good insulation is important year-round, not just during the cold months. Still not sure how this affects you now? Let’s take a closer look.
When you are thinking about different ways you might be able to save money around the house, the tendency is to think big. Maybe you need to upgrade to a more energy efficient furnace, or it could be time to install a new central air conditioning system. Maybe it is even a good idea to switch to solar or geothermal power.
But before you do any of that, you may want to try some quick and easy ways to save money around the house with the equipment you already have. Here are 10 great ways to cut your power usage and keep those energy bills down without investing a lot in new equipment.
- Seal Up Your House – No matter how energy efficient the heating and cooling systems are in your house, you will be using more energy than necessary if your house is not tightly sealed. Make sure there are not cracks or places where drafts can get in and you will start saving money right away.
- The Right Thermostat Setting – Are you really going to notice the difference between 72°F and 69°F? Probably not, but you will save about 3% off of your monthly heating bill for every degree you turn the thermostat down. The same goes in the summer too, just backwards.
- Programmable Thermostats – And while we are on the subject of thermostats, it is a good idea to invest in a new one with programmable settings. That way you will be able to set your house to be warm when you will be there and you do not have to pay to keep it warm all day long if it is empty.
- Water Heater Temperature – Most hot water heaters are set to about 140°F. However, you really only need your water to be at 120°F. So turn down the hot water heater and you will save a lot.
- Ceiling Fans – Ceiling fans can help keep you cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. Plus, they cost very little to run so they are a great investment.
- Light Bulbs – Switching to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs all over your house will save you a ton even though they cost a bit more to begin with.
- Lights Out – But energy efficient bulbs will only get you so far. You should also be sure to turn off the lights in any room you are not using.
- Insulation – Proper insulation will go a long way towards keeping in the temperature controlled air that you want and keeping out the outdoor air that you do not.
- Power Strips – Many home appliances draw a small amount of power even when they are not turned on. Use a power strip to easily cut the power to them completely and eliminate that drain.
- Sealing Windows – Plenty of air can come and go through your windows as well. Upgrading to more energy efficient windows is certainly an option, but you can also help to seal up your home inexpensively by covering your windows with plastic.
When you are looking for ways to save money around the house, it can be difficult to know where to begin. However, if you start examining things closely, you can actually find many small ways to cut here and there to save a few dollars. Of course, the savings you will generate by making these moves need to be worth the expense of making them, and it some cases that equation does not work out to your advantage.
For instance, when you are trying to save money on your heating or air conditioning bills, is it really worth it to get a top of the line system installed? Do you really need a 97% AFUE furnace? Sure your monthly heating bills will be lower, but it costs so much to install that it might not be worth it. For some people, the right choice will be to opt for the highest efficiency system, but that is far from a universal truth.
However, there is one investment along these lines that will be worth it no matter what your particular situation is. And that is making sure that your house has proper and effective insulation installed everywhere necessary. Certainly, most houses have insulation of some kind. But do you really know that your insulation is effective and that it is in the right place?
With the new technologies and types of insulation available, you should not have to pay too much to have someone come in to check your insulation and improve upon it. And you very likely will not believe the difference it can make in the way your house feels.
Proper insulation will keep heat in and cold out in the winter and the opposite in the summer. You will quite simply be more comfortable all year round. Plus, you will see a pretty dramatic drop in your home heating and cooling bills because your HVAC systems will not have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable.
This will also translate into less wear and tear on the system over all, making it possible for you to extend the useful life of your HVAC system as well. The savings that can be generated by having proper insulation put in will well outweigh the cost of that insulation in just about every case.