November has arrived and with it, colder temperatures. Many parts of the country have already experienced winter weather and snow. Now is the time to start thinking about ways to reduce energy cost in winter. There are several ways that homeowners and apartment dwellers can stay warm and still keep heating energy costs down.
Newer homes are designed and built to be more energy efficient. Older homes need some attention to reduce heat loss. Windows are big energy robbers and can account for as much as 10% of heat loss. The best solution is to replace the old windows with energy efficient windows that will significantly reduce heat loss. They will pay for themselves over time.
One inexpensive and effective way to reduce heat loss around windows is to locate draft spots and seal them. The sun can also be a great natural source of heat during the day simply opening curtains or blinds and let the sun warms rooms, especially on the south side of homes.
Heating system maintenance is very important. Filters need to be changed every month to minimize airflow obstruction. The furnace should also be checked over thoroughly by a certified HVAC technician every Fall before the furnace is fired up for winter. A programmable thermostat is great tool for keeping heating costs down. The Department of Energy estimates that homes can realize a 10% savings per year by turning the heat down 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours.
Duct work is another source of inefficient heating. Ducts with leaks and connections can result in a loss of 20% of warm air from the heater. Ducts need to be inspected yearly and insulated.
Apartment dwellers also need to think about ways to think about winter electricity reduction. Many of the same steps homeowners use apply equally to apartment homes — and vice-versa. For instance, ceiling fans can be used to heat as well as cool. Most fans have a switch that reverses the direction that the blades turn. With the blades running clock-wise, warm air is pulled up and redistributed.
Shutting off rooms that do not need to be heated is another money saver. Using a humidifier is another tactic for keeping rooms warm. Moist air feels warm and holds heat better.
Winter is coming — no doubt about it. Want to learn more about saving energy? Call us.
Since 1945, Brody Pennell Heating & Air Conditioning is the committed to helping homeowners in the greater Los Angeles area experience total home comfort. In 2021, the readers of the Los Angeles Times voted Brody Pennell the Best HVAC Company in the area.
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