With winter right around the corner, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling wants to help homeowners stay warm and be more energy-efficient with these 9 simple steps.
"We all look forward to the winter months and the holiday season, what we don’t look forward to are higher energy bills,” says Fred Hutchinson, Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling president. "Whether you are cranking up your thermostat, or stringing seasonal lights around your home, these energy saving tips will help you through this frigid winter and keep you from dipping into your holiday shopping budget.”
1. Keep your thermostat under 70° F. Set your thermostat at 68° during the day and at 60° at night. Homeowners can save approximately 3 percent on heating costs for every degree under 70.
2. When you’re out, turn your thermostat down. If you’re away from home for more than four hours during the day, turn the thermostat down to save energy. To prevent pipes from freezing, homeowners should never turn their heating system off entirely.
3. Use your bath, kitchen and other exhaust fans sparingly. While in use, these fans blow out conditioned air and bring in outdoor air. Leaving a single exhaust fan on can remove a houseful of heat in as little as two hours.
4. Maintain proper air circulation. Make sure all heating supply registers and cold-air return registers are clear of draperies, furniture and other obstructions.
5. Clean or replace filters each month. Be sure to clean or replace the filter(s) in your forced-air heating system each month. While foam filters can be rinsed with water (must be dry before replacing), fiberglass filters should be replaced with new ones.
6. Let the sunshine in. During the day, open draperies and shades to let the sunshine in but keep them closed to keep the heat in at night.
7. When not in use, keep the fireplace sealed up. If homeowners own an open masonry fireplace, they should install a glass screen or a balloon fireplace damper to stop the loss of warm air through the fireplace chimney during non-use.
8. Make sure your ductwork is properly sealed. System ductwork is outside the conditioned area. Use proper mastic or tape to seal duct joints to prevent conditioned air from escaping outside.
9. Similar to your car needing tune-ups to make sure it’s running right so does your furnace or boiler. The tune-ups not only assure proper operating, it also returns them to peak efficiency. Regular maintenance on your heating equipment is relatively inexpensive and will pay dividends in energy savings, increased comfort and increased life expectancy.
For the second year in a row, Hutchinson is ranked as one of the top three companies for home energy efficiency. Hutchinson is certified by the Department of Energy as an ENERGY STAR Home Performance Contractor and is trained by the Building Performance Institute on how to best improve energy efficiency in residential homes.