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12 Ways to Improve Home Energy Efficiency This Winter
Well, winter arrived ahead of schedule last week, with record or near-record Thanksgiving Day temperatures dotting the map across our Connecticut service area. And as any homeowner knows, when the mercury drops, heating bills will inevitably rise.
The question is how much will they go up?
With a few changes to your home and lifestyle, you can have a surprising amount of say in controlling your winter heating costs. Try these tips to save energy and money in your propane-powered home this winter.
- Check your furnace air filter regularly – A clogged furnace filter will make your propane heat furnace overwork to do its job, which means higher bills for you; check it once a month and change it when needed.
- Weatherize – Add caulk and weather stripping around windows, doors and other openings to keep the cold air out and the warm air in. Consider adding insulation to attics and crawl spaces, too – it’s one of the best energy efficiency investments you can make.
- Use your programmable thermostat – Turning your furnace down for eight hours a day can reduce your annual heating bill by as much as 10 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (D.O.E.) – often enough to pay for the thermostat the first year you use it.
- Consider adding a supplemental space heater – A propane space heater will take the edge off a large or drafty room – and some of the heating load burden off your propane furnace. Drop your home thermostat three degrees and you’ll save 10 percent on your heating bills. Want a more beautiful way to add efficient supplemental heat to your Connecticut home? Install a propane hearth.
- Lower the thermostat on your water heater – Most propane water heater thermostats are set higher than needed to get the job done in your taps and appliances. The D.O.E. recommends a temperature setting of 120 degrees to balance efficiency and comfort.
- Install low-flow shower heads and aerators – Low-flow shower heads and aerators can cut your hot water usage in half without affecting water pressure.
- Replace your electric water heater with a propane model – Switch from an electric water heater to a propane model and you will cut your bills by thirty percent or more – up to 50 percent if you switch from an electric storage water heater to tankless propane model.
- Fill your hot water appliances before you use them – Fill your dishwasher or washing machine as much as possible to reduce the need for water heating.
- Let the sun in – Leave your curtains and blinds open during the day to absorb radiant heat from the sun, then close them at night to keep that heat in. Choosing better window treatments can help, too.
- Reverse your ceiling fans – It may seem counter-intuitive to run a fan in the winter, but if the blades are spinning in the right direction, your fan will push rising warm air back down and into your room. Most ceiling fans have a reversal switch to change their spin; see your owner’s manual for details.
- Keep baseboards and vents clean and clear – Airflow is an important and often overlooked part of home comfort and efficiency – make sure the air you paid to heat can get into your living space to keep you warm.
- Service your home comfort equipment – Professional maintenance is the key to keeping any equipment running efficiency and reliably: not only will preventative maintenance lower your energy bills, it will also prolong the life of your equipment, prevent potentially costly appliance repairs, and even keep your equipment warranties in force.
The best way to get your heating equipment maintained? Sign up for a Hocon Gas Home Comfort Membership. Available for your furnace, boiler, hearth products, water heater, and more, our comprehensive service plans include:
- A precision tune-up
- Priority service
- Discount repairs and parts
- 24/7/365 emergency service
Save money this fall and winter with propane equipment and propane services from Hocon Gas. Contact us today for more tips on saving money this heating season.