How To Save On Heating Bills In The Cold Season Ahead
Temperatures are dropping here in Dutchess and Ulster counties – which means that the bills for your heating oil deliveries will be rising soon enough. To try to keep that rise to a minimum, it pays to invest some time, money, and effort to improve the energy efficiency in your Hudson Valley home.
Home Efficiency Checklist
Here are eight tips and tricks you can try to cut your heating bills this fall and winter:
Winterize – You could be losing as much as 15 percent of the air you paid to heat through cracks around your doors and windows; you’ll also be letting cold air in your house, which will make your heating system overwork to keep you comfortable. Installing weather stripping and door sweeps and caulking outside your windows are inexpensive fixes for air leaks.
Keep vents clear – Airflow is critical to keeping your heating oil-fired system running as efficiently as possible (and to saving money); keep your vents clear of furniture, curtains, and other obstructions.
Take advantage of the sun – Open blinds and curtains during the day to let sun in – just remember to close them at night to keep that warm air in.
Don’t skip your annual tune-up – Routine annual maintenance will keep your equipment running efficiently and reliably all winter long.
Reverse your ceiling fan – Most ceiling fans reverse with the flip of a switch; if yours does, make sure it is rotating clockwise, which pushes rising warm air back into your room.
Consider professional duct sealing – If you have a forced air system (one with vents and a furnace rather than a radiators or baseboards and a boiler), leaks in your ducts could be keeping 10 percent or more of the air you paid to heat from ever reaching your living space. A professional duct sealing will fix hard to find leaks and keep that heating loss to a minimum.
Consider sensible upgrades – The efficiency of a 15-year-old oil furnace or boiler could dip as low as 60 percent – at least 25 to 30 percent less than a new model. That means that an upgrade could pay for itself in just a few years in fuel savings alone – even more if you consider the cost of inevitable heating repairs.