Goettl’s Helps with Your New Year’s Resolutions — to SAVE $$
Lots of people make New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight, join a gym, learn a new skill, or find a new job, but how many make a resolution save money on winter heating bills? We at Goettl’s High Desert Mechanical want to share some tips from the U.S. Department of Energy’s website on how you can make energy efficiency and cost savings attainable in 2020 (and beyond). Everyone likes “FREE,” so here are 6 completely free (no cost) actions you and your family can take to save money on your winter heating bills.
1. First, lower your thermostat during the winter months. During the day, set your thermostat to 68 degrees and at night, to 65 degrees. Lower it about an hour before you go to bed, as cooler temperatures help most people sleep better. Also, add an extra blanket to your bed if necessary. During the daytime, wear warm clothing and add an extra undershirt, sweater, or pair of socks if needed. By lowering the thermostat, you can save as much as 1% on heating costs for every degree lowered over an 8-hour period. (Note: Gas fired systems recover temperature differentials much more quickly than do heat pump systems. Not recommended to create any larger than 5-degree differential for heat pumps. ‘If’ you desire 70 degrees, then certainly no lower than 65 degrees at night.)
2. Seal the chimney flue when it’s not being used. An open chimney flue (when you’re not using a wood-burning fireplace) is just as energy-inefficient as leaving a window open a few inches. Warm air escapes and cold air rushes in.
3. Utilize ceiling fans to circulate air. Change the ceiling fans’ direction to the winter setting and set them to low. This circulates the cooler room air upwards and redirects the warmer air (at the ceiling level) downward. The effect is a room (or house) that feels warmer.
4. Keep heater vents & radiators clear. To maximize your heating efficiency, make sure that your forced air heating vents are not covered or blocked by rugs or furniture. If a vent is blocked by a large piece of furniture, close the vent entirely. Or, if you use a radiator, remove any large objects that may be blocking them or impeding heat circulation. When the air is able to circulate freely, you not only get the benefit of warm air, but your furnace won’t have to work as hard.
5. Keep vents & radiators clean. Removing dust build-up from heat vents and radiators allows the warm air to flow unimpeded throughout your home. Additionally, allergies will be reduced when you remove the dust (an allergen for many folks).
6. Minimize heat loss from windows. Upwards of 10 to 25 percent of your home’s heat loss occurs because of windows. Keep curtains and blinds closed at night, once the sun has gone down, or when the sun is not shining on them to maintain their insulative properties. Also, consider placing a blanket over an uncovered window at night or when temperatures are exceedingly low. During daylight hours, open curtains or blinds on south-facing windows; this utilizes the sun’s heat to warm your rooms, but also, close them as soon as the sun begins to set.
Want to save even more? Stay tuned… our next blog will review 9 inexpensive actions you can take to save on winter heating costs.