Because home energy costs account for almost 50% of the yearly expenses for homeowners, it’s vitally important that every advantage be taken to reduce these costs. There are systems you can install that will help with overall energy costs. The key is to select a system that is appropriately sized for the needs of your home. Beyond that, there are also some simple fixes that you can use to immediately see results. It is all too easy to let heat escape from a home and to mismanage the way in which that heat is used. Waste not want not, the old adage goes. So consider this list of options when it comes to either a full installation of a new system, or simply to reduce energy costs through better heating system management.
Selecting an Efficient and Effective System
What is the size of the area to be heated? Does your home have an open plan or is it riddled with rooms with doors. Traditional furnace heaters can be inefficient and costly, but there are a number of options to help unburden the reliance on this older equipment. Consider a heat pump system that can draw warm air from the outside and join forces with your pre-existing furnace to provide for maximum heating with a reduction in energy consumption. During an inspection, your advisor may suggest upgrades to your insulation in and around vent pipes and joints. It is in these areas that a great amount of heat waste can occur. A heat pump unit can also make a difference in rooms with doors, as it is able to move warm air from one area of your home to another. Rather than simply heating the whole house, you may be able to provide an even amount of warmth throughout without the waste of overheating areas that don’t require it.
Installation and Maintenance Can Affect Efficiency
Improperly installed units can reduce system efficiency by up to 30%. This can possibly shorten the lifespan of the equipment, but it can also draw more power, ultimately increasing your yearly energy bills. Regular yearly maintenance is also recommended to maintain the functionality of the unit. This includes a cleaning of the filter and inspection by a qualified contractor. In much the same way you would get quarterly oil changes and inspections on your vehicle, your heating and cooling system requires the same level of care and protection.
Insulation and Duct Sealing for Maximum Effect
Your ducts distribute both hot and cool air throughout your home. Without proper sealing and insulation, you can potentially be losing a fifth of the air through cracks and fissures in the ductwork. One of the best areas to start is in the attic. Generally, in an unconditioned space, much air and energy is lost during particularly hot or cold temperatures. Your attic, garage, or crawlspaces are ideal spots for this to occur. Giving proper attention and insulating these areas can have a significant impact on your energy bill. If you’ve noticed that there are certain rooms in your house that are particularly hard to heat or cool or that are otherwise stuffy and uncomfortable, this may be caused by poor duct sealing. Some homeowners take the initiative themselves with this project. If you do, remember to take extra care around the connections at vents and registers where they meet the floors, walls, and ceiling. These are the most common areas where ductwork can be damaged or disconnected. It’s advised that you do not use duct tape, as this is not as long lasting as other sealant materials.
Smart Heating Is Efficient Heating
You can reduce fuel consumption simply by not heating certain areas of your home that are not generally in use. If you do decide to “shut out” a certain room, make sure that the room is properly sealed by closing off vents and properly insulated from the rest of your house. Remember, however, that pipes in the walls need a certain amount of warmth so as not to freeze and burst in extreme cold temperatures. As well, an imbalance in the system can tax heating equipment, so it’s best to talk to a specialist to determine the proper balance between comfort and efficiency. A simple way to start working towards conservation is to install a programmable thermostat. By automatically regulating the level of heat and the areas in which it is distributed, you can reduce wasteful energy demands.
Whether you decide to take small steps through some home projects or to upgrade your entire home heating solution system, talk to an energy specialist who can guide you through the process. Only by looking at your unique heating needs can you be certain to get the highest level of benefits from your system in order to eliminate wasteful heating and, as a result, wasteful spending.