There are myriad ways you can cut down your energy bill without sacrificing comfort, and the following are four of the most effective. Some require the work of a heating professional while others are DIY jobs.
Programmable thermostats are a must; that way, you can create a heating schedule around those times when you’re actually at home. You can also shut the heating system off while you’re sleeping and have it switch on half an hour before you wake. Wi-Fi thermostats provide remote access.
The thermostat is one of the essential components to your heating unit, but that unit itself must be in good condition, or your energy bills will suffer. Hire an expert for an annual tune-up. The ENERGY STAR Program recommends that you inspect, clean, and replace your air filters yourself.
Drafty homes will let all the warm air seep out, giving your heating system an unnecessary workout. You could have a heating professional come over with infrared cameras to detect the drafts. Then, you could proceed to weatherstripping.
The U.S. Department of Energy explains the pros and cons of different weatherstripping materials, including:
- Foam tape
- Metal strips
- Vinyl tubes
Felt and open-cell foam are inefficient but easy to install and may work out well for windows and doors in low-traffic areas. Vinyl is durable but also clearly visible. As for caulking, this is best for air ducts, pipes, and other immobile structures.
Your home may not have sufficient insulation in the attic or wall cavities, so consider getting an inspection of these areas. You could add more layers of insulation or replace the current insulation with something that has a higher R-value (resistance to heat flow).