Too many blogs that discuss how to keep warm during these cold Cincinnati winters will tell you to save on your winter heating bill by turning down the thermostat, putting on some extra layers and hoping that a warm mug of your favorite beverage will make you feel warm. Sure, keeping an eye on that creeping thermostat is a good idea, but we’re also going to provide a few tips for taming your winter HVAC bill that won’t make you choose between being cold and feeling a chill up your spine when the next month’s utility bills arrive.
Plug the Leaks
Did your parents ever tell you to close the door because they don’t want to heat the rest of the neighborhood? There’s an element of truth to that. Make sure your kids close the door all the way when they come and go. Make certain all your windows are completely closed. Consider putting a door draft stopper on the bottom of the exterior doors so that those little drafts let out warm air. If your door already has door sweeps, know that their performance deteriorates over time – new door sweeps could solve the draft problem in a given room. If you don’t want to put a door sweep on a door, then get a “door snake”, a weighed fabric tube that helps keep the cold air out and warm air in.
Get in the habit of closing the doors when you’re checking the mail or bringing in groceries. If you’re constantly opening the door to see who is there, install a peephole; it is safer anyway.
There are adhesive rolls on the market that let you seal any gaps around the window frame. A better long-term strategy is re-caulking around the windows and doors to help seal the gaps.
Replace Your Furnace Air Filter
Replacing your air filter can help you save money on your heating bill in several ways. The system won’t have to work as hard to bring fresh air in and push heated air out to the rest of your home. Nor will it have to run as long to bring your home up to the desired temperature. This means that a new air filter in a gas furnace will save you money on both your electric and gas bills.
Improve Air Flow around Smaller Heat Sources
If you’ve turned on a small heater to provide supplemental heat, turn on a fan to help distribute that heat around the room if you don’t have an overhead fan going. If your fireplace is going, have a fan help distribute the warm throughout the house. This is on top of the benefits of closing off closets and unused rooms so you’re not heating up spaces you’re not using. If you’ve noticed that the furnace fans aren’t as loud as they normally are or the house isn’t warming up like you expect, then the problem may be a burned out fan motor; getting that fixed by an HVAC company could get the more efficient household furnace running at full blast and heating up your home instead of relying on several room-sized heaters.
The simplest way to reduce your heating and cooling bills is to add a lot of insulation to the attic and in the walls where it is either lacking or settling. However, this may not be something you have the time or money to do. However, you can add insulation to your home in other ways. For example, put up insulated curtains. They’ll reduce heat loss through the windows at relatively little cost. If this isn’t an option, putting an extra layer of fabric around the windows achieves a similar result. If all else fails, throw a blanket over the curtain rod to help keep your heat in. Another strategy is installing window film that lets in light but reflects heat back into your home.
Spraying foam insulation into a hollow core door is very difficult – and if you have professional insulation put in, it’s not cheap. However, if your doors are already beaten up, consider replacing them with solid doors that have a good layer of insulation built-in.
Cincinnati Furnace Assistance
If you do feel you have a problem with your home’s heating system, don’t hesitate to contact the Cincinnati home comfort specialists at Pinnacle Air Solutions.