9 Ways to Reduce Heating Costs This Winter
Storms have swept across the US and even here in Florida we are feeling the effects! The constant use of an HVAC system can cause strain to your machine and extra heating costs. This article will help you keep your system in the best shape during the winter and keep your energy bills low.
In more temperate, less tropical climates you typically use your heat a bit in spring, then don’t use your HVAC at all for a couple of months until it warms up and you use the A/C in summer. Then you have a small rest period until it gets cold enough to switch to heat again for fall and winter.
A Floridian winter’s challenges on an a/c unit are different than most due to the fact that our weather changes so frequently. You may need to use your heat for three days out of the week and then switch to a/c for the other four days! Read on for our tips on how to save on heating and keep everything running smoothly.
1. Lower your thermostat
Each degree lower on the thermostat by a period of 8 hours can cut the bill by 1%.
Lower your heat by at least one degree during the day and wear a comfy sweater in the house. At night when you won’t be moving around as much, you can lower your thermostat as much as 10 degrees. Add an extra blanket to the bed, sleep with socks on so you can be nice and cozy and your bill will thank you. Keep your thermostat on the comfortable setting you prefer until right before getting in bed. If you lower it then, the house will naturally maintain its heat for a few hours and you be asleep and warm in bed once it cools off.
If you use a programmable thermostat, you can even set it to warm up in the morning when it’s time to wake up and start your day so you’ll be nice and toasty!
2. Keep it down when no one’s home.
Don’t forget to turn your heat settings back down when you leave. In a household where everyone is gone for the day, there’s no need to keep the heater running all day long. A lot of times in Florida winters, you will only need to run your heat at night when things cool off more. Some days are in the high 60s-low 70s and the house will stay a comfortable temperature on its own all day long. If you are at home during the day, make the most of the days with beautiful weather by turning off your HVAC system and enjoy the breeze from open windows and doors.
3. Use a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat is also a good option if you don’t want lots of different people moving your settings throughout the day, which can be tough on your unit to go back and forth trying to get the house to different temperatures. This type of thermostat you can just set and let it do its thing. And as we said above, you can set it to warm your house up in the morning so your feet don’t hit a freezing floor getting out of bed!
4. Keep your filters clean.
For our article on how often to clean your filters, click here. How Often Do I Need To Change My HVAC Filter?
This will ensure that air is flowing properly through your home and that there are no blocked spots in a filter resulting in reduced air flow. Reduced air flow to your HVAC will cause the machine to run harder than necessary to heat to the desired temperature.
5. Use your ceiling fans in the winter.
While fans may seem more useful for cooling purposes, they can actually be helpful in the winter too. They can help distribute heated air more evenly throughout the house. You’ll be less likely to feel a chill and go turn up your heat if the room is evenly heated, plus, this helps your system to run less frequently.
6. Decorate strategically.
Use heavy curtains on windows, especially those on the North side of the house. This will help insulate your house and keep heat. At night, even though you don’t need to block the sun, keep curtains closed and blinds down while the house is naturally cooling. When the sun is really shining brightly during the day you will want them open to allow the sun to help heat your house as well.
7. Close your damper.
When not using your fireplace if you have one, make sure you keep your damper closed. When in use, it’s a handy valve that helps you regulate airflow through your chimney so your house doesn’t fill with smoke. If left open when there’s no fire, it’s a direct trap door for the heat you’re paying to create with your HVAC to escape!
8. Get help from Mother Nature.
When choosing to landscape, plant trees that are deciduous (meaning they lose their leaves in winter), rather than evergreen. Evergreen trees, as you can probably tell from the name, never lose their leaves and thus are always green. If you have a row of these near your house, in the winter you will have unnecessary shade from the sun which here in Florida is especially helpful to heat your home during the day. Deciduous trees are perfect helpers for reducing HVAC costs because their leaves shade your home in the summer and lose their leaves to allow the sun to reach it in the winter.
9. Keep things maintained.
Having a State Certified HVAC Contractor do a routine maintenance on your system about twice a year in spring and fall (right before the heaviest workloads are put on the system in summer and winter) is very helpful in making sure your system is running at its most efficient, to reduce energy bills in the short term, and also repair and replacement costs in the long term. Think of how you get regular oil changes for your car. This is to keep its engine maintained and running smoothly for as long as possible, right? Routine maintenance of your HVAC will keep it maintained and cooling and heating your house for years to come. Especially if you need to run your heater some days during the week and your air conditioner later when the weather changes, you will need to keep everything in tip-top shape. For more information on keeping things maintained click here. Bloomingdale Air Maintenance Agreements
We hope these tips have been helpful to you for saving money on heating costs in the winter! Please let us know as always should you have any questions.