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Prepare For Cold Temperatures & Save On Heat Cost

Prepare For Cold Temperatures & Save On Heat Cost

YHHS logoYour Healthy Home Show Listen Live - Friday 11:00am on WSAR 1480 AM or Online

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Stay Safe & Warm; Prepare For Cold Temperatures & Save On Heat Cost

Steve and Joe talk about minimizing home heating failures and how to save on your heating bill.

Gas furnaces and oil burners are the largest source of energy consumption in homes.

Typically utilities are the biggest monthly expense, coming in third after monthly mortgage/rent and groceries in regions with extreme temperature shifts. Last year's deep freeze created havoc across the country with families struggling to keep their homes warm. Don't let money go out the window. Minimize heat loss in your home.

Simplest & Most Cost Effective Ways To Reduce Heating Cost

When to adjust your thermostat to save you the most money?

You can easily save energy in the winter by setting the thermostat to 68°F while you're awake and setting it lower while you're asleep or away from home. By turning your thermostat back 6° to 10° for 8 hours, you can save 5% to 15% a year on your heating bill. (A savings of as much as 1%-4% for each degree for 8 hours or longer.) A typical house hold is not home during the day on week days. Lowering the temperature during the day can save you money. Night time is also the perfect time to lower your thermostat. As we sleep, our bodies naturally require less heat. Lowering the temperature in your home while you're asleep or when you are away from home can have a significant impact on your overall heating cost.

Although thermostats can be adjusted manually, programmable thermostats will avoid any discomfort by returning temperatures to normal before you wake or return home.

Why is it important to do maintenance on your furnace or boiler at leat once a year?

All furnaces or boilers efficiency is measured by annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE). The Federal Trade Commission requires new furnaces or boilers to display their AFUE so consumers can compare heating efficiencies of various models. In simple terms, AFUE is the ratio heat output compared to energy consumed by the furnace or boiler. An AFUE of 90% means that 90% of the energy in the fuel becomes heat for the home and the other 10% escapes up the chimney and elsewhere.

Over time, the efficiency and reliability can decrease if your heating system is not checked/maintained for proper operation.

  • Increases the health and safety of those living in your home; Insuring that gases are properly exhausted outside and NOT in your home. IMPORTANT NOTE: All homes should have an updated and active CO detector located on each floor.
  • Decrease the chance of a break down; The coldest months are when heating systems tend to break down. (when they are working the hardest) Most failures can be avoided with proper maintenance.
  • Increases the longevity of your system; According to Department of Energy, proper maintenance extends the life of your furnace or boiler and saves you money. The average furnace replacement can range from $3,000 – $10,000 depending on size of home, efficiency and location.
  • Keeps your energy cost down; According to Energy Star.gov, Keeping your heating system maintained keeps your equipment running at its optimum efficiency.

Quick Tips:

Open the curtains on your south-facing windows - Open windows during winter days to allow heat into your home. Close your window coverings when the sun goes down to keep the heat inside.

Put on a winter sweater and warm socks - Keep throw blankets on your couch.

Adjust the thermostat at night - Consider investing in a warm comforter for your bed and keeping your home/apartment cooler when you sleep.

Keep your furnace clean and unblocked - Keeping your furnace and vents properly maintained will reduce energy consumption and help you save. Replace your furnace filter monthly, and replace it when it gets dirty.

Get a humidifier to add moisture to the air - The air inside your home can become very dry. Moist air feels warmer and holds heat better, so a humidifier can help you feel comfortable when your thermostat is set at a lower temperature.

Insulate all areas where heat might escape - Start with foam weather stripping for your doors and windows.

Lower the thermostat - Lower the set point on your water heater.

Use draft stoppers - Place a rolled up towel at the bottom of outside doorways to keep out cold air.

References:

http://energy.gov/energysaver/articles/thermostats

http://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/cant-sleep-adjust-the-temperature

http://www.epa.gov/region7/citizens/pdf/EPA_HomeHelps.pdf

Your Healthy Home Show

Your Source for Helpful Tips on Keeping a Healthy Home

On the Healthy Home Show, Steve Andras and Joe Pires of Pioneer Basement discuss topics that affect the health and safety of your home.

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