With cooler temperatures making their way into North Texas, it always helps to have a little know-how when it comes to trimming expenses - especially your heating bill. As Dallas roof replacement and repair experts, we're offering five tips to reduce heating costs. Some ideas will cost you $100 or far less:
1) Clean or replace that furnace filter.
Experts say it's essential to change or clean that furnace filter regularly, especially during the heating season. You might need a new filter every three months; check your manufacturer's manual for your furnace. Furnaces use less energy if they “breathe” more easily.
Cost: Depends on your furnace filter. Some filters for a newer smaller furnace cost $25 to $30 each. Others could range from $10 to $50 or more.
2) Caulk windows, siding and doors.
Air leaks can send heating dollars flying out the window. Experts say seal the big gaps first and pay attention to other cracks and potential leaks.
Sealing air leaks with caulk is a relatively easy home project and can take one or two hours to complete, according to the Energy.gov site.
"Some pressurized cartridges do not require caulking guns. When deciding how much caulking to purchase, consider that you'll probably need a half-cartridge per window or door and four cartridges for the foundation sill," according to the Energy.gov site.
You'd want to caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, duct work and wiring go through walls, ceilings and floors.
Cost: $3 to $50.
3) Install exterior storm windows.
Experts say low thermal emissivity or low-e storm windows can reduce utility bills, as much as replacing an entire window.
On average, low-e storm windows can save you 12% to 33% in heating and cooling costs during the season. Consumers could save from $120 to $330 a year, based on an annual heating/cooling bill of $1,000 a year, according to Energy.gov.
Cost: $60 to $200 per window.
4) Look into getting an energy audit.
Generally, customers who have gas service or gas and electric service can sign up for a 90-minute walk-through review where a trained analyst examines energy leaks and offers suggestions on how to improve energy efficiency.
"It's the first step in the customer journey in terms of energy efficiency," Roh said.
The cost of the Home Energy Analysis is typically $25.
The goal is to help a consumer cut at least $100 to $150 off their gas bills each year. The idea of the in-home assessment is that small steps can mean big savings over the long run.
5) Don't ignore free money-saving moves.
Make sure your ceiling fans move in a clockwise direction to push hot air along the ceiling toward the floor. Experts say set the ceiling fan at a low speed to drive that warm air away from the ceiling to spread heat more evenly.
When you're sleeping, add an extra blanket.
Consider lowering the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees instead of 140 degrees. Consult the owner's manual for your water heater.
If you have a programmable thermostat, use it and actually program it to save money. Consumers Energy notes that a customer can save 1% to 3% on your heating costs for every degree you dial down. Consider setting your thermostat at 68 degrees when you're home and at 65 degrees when you're away for a short time. Used to a warmer house? Try to dial down 1 degree at a time and see how it goes.
For more home improvement and roofing tips, visit AspenmarkRoofing.com/blog
Posted on 12/1/2015 at 3:20:00 AM