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Keeping The Heat Indoors During The Winter
We’ve had a relatively mild winter so far here in the Hudson Valley, but experts say that may soon change. Either way, your heating equipment will continue to do its job – the question is how much will it cost you to stay warm?
One way to help keep the cost of heating as manageable as possible in the months to come is to make your home operate as efficiently as possible. Mostly, that means keeping the air you paid to heat inside, while keeping cold outdoor air where it belongs.
Here are four cost-effective ways to do that.
Home Efficiency Tips
- Be vigilant – Take care of the little things to keep warm air indoors, like closing doors and windows, shutting the flue on your fireplace when it’s not in use, and keeping windows covered with insulating curtains once the sun goes down.
- Weatherize – Did you know that as much as twenty percent of the air that you paid to warm escapes through air leaks around doors, windows, and other voids leading to the great outdoors? By making your home more airtight with inexpensive weather sealing, door sweeps, and caulk, you could save a bundle on energy bills over the course of a year.
- Add insulation – Most American homes are insulated below recommended R-Value levels, especially in vulnerable areas such as attics and basements. Adding affordable, easy-to-install insulation can cut your annual heating (and cooling) costs significantly – more than enough to offset your initial insulation investment in just a year or two. Want to know more about where and how much insulation to add to your home? Check out this guide from the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Seal your ductwork – As much as fifteen percent of that warm air generated by your furnace may never make it into your living space due to leaks in your ductwork. Poorly fitted joints or small holes in the ducts themselves can release conditioned air into your building envelope, where it will eventually dissipate into the outdoor air. If your ductwork is easy to access, you could try sealing it as a DIY project –but if your air ducts are difficult to access (as they are in most homes), call a professional.
The Ace In The Hole: A Well-Maintained Heating System
Of course, when it comes to saving money on heating bills, few things have a more direct impact than routine furnace or boiler maintenance. An annual tune-up is a must for your home heating system, since it loses about four to five percent efficiency each year if it’s not properly maintained. If you haven’t had an annual heating service yet this year, it’s not too late – contact us today to schedule an appointment.
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