Winter is in full swing here in Long Island, and with it come winter energy bills.
If you want to keep those bills as low as possible, investing in an upgrade for older furnace or boiler is a good way to go: today’s high efficiency models quickly pay for themselves by saving you 20 percent or more on your energy bills.
But even the best equipment has a limit to how much money it can save you: much of your heating system performance comes down to just plain being smarter. Here are seven cost effective ways to save energy this winter.
- Take advantage of your thermostat – Smart thermostats make it easy to lower temperatures when you’re asleep, or when no one is home. By dropping temperatures a few degrees for eight hours a day, you could save 10 percent or more on your bill.
- Weatherize – The average US home leaks the equivalent of a window’s worth of air through spaces around windows and doors and through the walls. For a minimal investment of time and money, you can seal your windows, doors, electrical outlets, and more.
- Keep air filters clean – If you have a forced air system (one with a furnace and vents), make sure to check your filters at least once a month during heating season.
- Reverse your ceiling fans – We know it seems counterintuitive to use fans to make your house warmer, but it actually works – as long as your ceiling fans are pushing rising warm air back down into the room. See your fan’s instructions for reversing the direction of your ceiling fan.
- Use the sun to your advantage – Keep windows open to absorb solar heat during the day, then keep that heat from escaping by closing curtains at night.
- Close your fireplace damper when not in use – An open fireplace damper loses as much heat as an open window; close it when you’re not using your fireplace.
- Don’t block heating elements – Keep your baseboard heaters, radiators, and heat registers clear from furniture, drapery or rugs so hot air can flow more easily into the room.