Keeping your family warm and comfortable in the coming frigid winter months can be a challenge -and an expensive challenge at that! Never fear! Here we have a whole list of DIY energy saving techniques brought to you by the home heating experts at Radiant. These tried and true techniques are guaranteed to give you and your family the toastiest winter of their lives—and what’s more, while your family is keeping cozy, you are saving money!
- Dialing back your thermostat 10-15% percent for just eight hours every day could potentially cut your annual heating bill by 10%.
- Weatherize your home by caulking and weather-stripping all doors and windows. These adhesive sealants keep warm air in and icy drafts out. Installing locks on your windows can also help make them tighter and more draft resistant.
- Increase, repair and replace insulation in your attic, basement and outside walls. For a truly insulated home, be sure to also cover in-wall air conditioners and prevent cold air from leaking into your home.
- Be sure your thermostat never rises above 68°F when you are home. This is an optimal, energy efficient indoor temperature for the winter months. You’ll be warm without being hot and you can rest easy that a steady temperature of 68°F isn’t pushing your trusty furnace to the brink. And don’t forget to lower the temperature when you go to bed or leave the house. This makes for an energy efficient home heating around the clock.
- Turn your water heater down to 120°F. Although most manufacturers’ default setting is 140°F, changing it to 120°F is both a safety and cost-cutting measure. The lower temperature requires less energy to maintain and also decreases risk of accidental scalding.
- Install water-flow restrictors on your plumbing fixtures. These handy devices are highly eco-friendly, and can be helpful in lowering water bills. For example, flow restrictors can help homeowners use minimal water to perform typically water-intensive chores like doing the laundry or the dishes
- If you’re a bit chilly, think about throwing on your favorite sweater before reaching for the thermostat. Remember—for every degree you lower your thermostat you’re slicing around 2 percent off your heating bill!
- Plugging those pesky air leaks with caulk or new weather stripping could knock about 10% off your monthly energy bill. The most common air “escapes hatches?” Floors, walls, ceilings, ducts, fireplaces, plumbing penetrations, doors, windows, fans, vents and electrical outlets.
- Close the fireplace damper when not in use. This seems like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often we see this in the field. You worked hard to build that roaring fire for your family—don’t let that warmth get away!
- Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of your home to allow solar heating and close them at night to retain heat.
- Be sure not to block your radiators or heating vents with furniture, draperies or anything else. Regularly clean all radiators, registers and baseboard heaters—keep them dirt and dust free! It’s also a must to keep vents and doors closed in unused rooms.
- If radiators are located near cold outside walls, place a sheet of aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall to reflect heat back into the room.
- And last, but certainly not least—have your heating system serviced annually and replace those furnace filters religiously. During the heating season, change or clean furnace filters once a month.
As I write these words, the cooler months of fall and winter are just a few flips of the calendar away! Is your house prepared for those first mornings of frigid frost and those long nights of endless snow? If not—it’s not too late! Get to work on this handy checklist and you’ll be thanking us come that first blizzard!
Call Radiant today to learn more about how you can save on your energy bill this winter!
I’m Brad, my wife’s name is Sarah, and since 1999, we’ve been serving Austin as the best little plumbing & HVAC company in Texas. We only hire the highest skilled, most reliable, licensed plumbers and air conditioning techs in the business. But we don’t stop there: If Sarah and I wouldn’t want them over to our house for dinner, they don’t work with us at Radiant, period. Not only are our technicians knowledgeable and courteous, but they’re all-around great folks as well, who will go out of their way to make sure that you and your family are comfortable with your plumbing, heating, and air conditioning needs. Solving problems for our customers, doing the job right and standing by all of our work 100% – it’s just what we do.