With winter comes a lot of extra bills—holiday shopping, property taxes and more. The last thing we need is skyrocketing utility bills. As HVAC repair and service technicians living in Kansas City, we’ve picked up some pretty smart tips we use ourselves to keep energy costs down during winter. Here are a few of our best…
For winter humidity levels, remember more is less. The more humidity you have in your home, the warmer it feels. The warmer it feels, the less likely you are to turn up the thermostat. Higher humidity allows your body to register a warmer temperature at lower degrees. Think of summer. Even it’s 85 degrees, high humidity makes it feel like it’s 90 or more degrees. If you don’t have a whole house or portable (at the least) humidifier, consider investing in one. You’ll feel more comfortable, stay healthier and reduce your energy costs.
Turning your thermostat down one or two degrees is an oldie but goodie. It will save you more than a couple of bucks over the months. Better yet, you’ll never be able to tell a difference with that small of a change.
If you have a heat pump, the rules of lowering the thermostat at night and raising it during the day don’t apply to you. Keep your heat pump thermostat set at a consistent temperature so that energy usage remains steady. Otherwise, the heat pump works too hard to accommodate the temperature changes, increasing your utility bill.
Insulate! Seal! Caulk! All those little cracks allowing cold air in add up to the equivalent of a big gaping whole in the side of your house. If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, call us for a reference. As an HVAC heating and air conditioning company, we can recommend the best and most affordable winterizing companies.
Use your oven’s heat for more than a roast. After you’re done cooking in the oven, leave the door open so the heat can escape and help warm your home. That extra heat is already there. No sense in letting it go to waste. But do NOT use an oven or cook top as the main source of heat. This only applies to after you’ve cooked something and the oven is hot anyway.
Change the airflow in your dampers each season. Hot air rises. Cold air sinks. In the winter, adjust your dampers to reduce air to the upstairs and increase it downstairs. Warm air migrates up anyway. Reverse it in the summer so more cold air is sent to the upper floor. Cold air will sink to the lower level.
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. There is a switch that reverses the fan blade direction. In the winter, set it so that blades rotate counter clockwise. That will push the air up along the walls, circulating heat. In summer, blades should turn clockwise to blow air down. If you’re not sure which is which, simply stand under it. If you feel air blowing on you, then you know the blades should be turning the other way.
If your furnace has some age on it, maybe it’s time for a high-efficiency model. That’s the ultimate energy saver. Call United Heating, Cooling and Plumbing to see how much a new furnace could save you in the long run.