Nearly half of the energy the average American household consumes is dedicated to heating and cooling, which means if you’re looking for ways to save money, reducing those costs is a good place to start. When winter’s frigid temperatures cause thermometer readings to drop, many people all around the Fredericksburg and Kerrville area fire up their furnaces to try and stay warm. However, if you’re trying to budget for savings, you may not want to follow the trend. Believe it or not, you don’t have to keep your heater running constantly to stay warm, even during the coldest days of winter, and you won’t even have to sacrifice your comfort. Here are a few tips for how to save money while keeping your heater shut off.
Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks are some of the biggest wallet-sappers you’ll find in your home. An air leak can be everything from the smallest crack in your window sealing to the largest hole in your wall; anything that allows heated, warm air inside your home to escape outside where it is replaced with cold outside air. You pay dearly to heat the air in your home, so why would you then want to let that heated air escape?
Sealing air leaks allows you to run your heater less often because the warm will stay in your home, keeping it warmer for longer before it needs to turn on again, which saves you a bundle of money in the long run. Sealing air leaks also doesn’t have to be difficult: check in typical spots such as around your windows and doors to see the condition of the seal and weather stripping around them. Replace this seal if any of them have become worn-out, cracked, or damaged.
Insulate Your Home Properly
Insulation in your home is critical to keeping inside air warm and your heater turned off. Every wall which separates the inside of your home from the cold outside air needs to be properly reinforced with insulation in order to prevent unwanted heat transfer, even if the wall itself has no cracks or air leaks in it. Insulation can be found in many different forms, with spray foam and fiberglass insulation blankets being two of the most common found in modern homes.
Over time, insulation can wear out, crack, and become ineffective, especially if it’s become damaged by things like a water leak, earthquake, or shifting foundation. If you have any exposed parts of your wall, fill it with insulation and then seal it with a new piece of drywall and you’ll start seeing an almost immediate impact on your ability to keep your home warm.
Finally, check your attic for its insulation condition. Warm air naturally rises to the top of your home, and any holes or cracks in your ceiling make a great spot for heat to leak into your attic where many homes are not well-insulated. That allows warm air to escape, and your attic to stay almost perpetually cold as it’s not really protected from the outside temperatures. While investing in insulating your attic may seem like a high price to pay, it could save you a bundle. In the meantime, check over the floor of your attic for possible air leaks and fill them with either a small batch of spray foam or fiberglass sheets (both of which can be purchased at home improvement stores).
Use the Power of Fire
Fire is naturally a great heater and can be started safely in most homes for little to no cost. If you have a chimney, gather some firewood, light a fire, and enjoy the warming heat while shutting off your heater to the rest of your home. You’d be surprised just how much warmth one fireplace can provide your home with. You should also consider taking advantage of candles: not only do they help eliminate odors that build up over the winter months when windows and doors stay closed, but they also provide warmth to smaller spaces, and can be purchased for extremely cheap.
Finally, the sun is our solar system’s biggest fireball and provides nature’s nourishing heat to the world every single day. Why not take advantage of this free and remarkably effective source of heat? During daytime hours, keep your windows closed but open your blinds and curtains to allow natural light to flood in. This light will often carry heat with it that can be used to warm your home and keep your heater turned off for longer. Just remember to close your windows and blinds again at night to make sure the extra barrier against heat loss is put back in place.
Call 72 Degrees Air Conditioning & Heating today at (830) 302-3140 to request a furnace service from our team of Fredericksburg heating repairs experts!