Given the length and intensity of winters in this region, inexpensive, simple ways to reduce heating costs offer a big payoff in lower utility bills. These four suggestions offer durable and affordable ways to improve your home's energy efficiency throughout the year.
The ideal amount of attic insulation in our region runs from 18 to 20 inches. Fiberglass batt and blown-in products are readily available at home centers, or you can hire a contractor to install it for you. Each inch of insulation resists heat transfer for approximately three hours, slowing the amount of heat you lose to the outdoors.
Another place where the payoff for adding insulation is high is the ductwork. If that insulation is old, deteriorated or missing altogether, you'll have heat losses throughout the heating season. A trusted HVAC provider can seal and insulate ducts to reduce heating costs for years to come.
Seal Air Leaks
Air entering and leaving your home from gaps around the exterior envelope drive up heating costs. Checking the foundation, exterior doors and window frames, and the attic can help you pinpoint where these leaks occur. Most can be sealed with caulk, expanding foam or weatherstripping. If you notice gaps around vents, chimneys or flues, use products that state that they're heat resistant, like silicone caulk. You can also use metal flashing for larger gaps.
Turn Down the Heat
Reducing the temperature when your home isn't occupied or you're sleeping will trim heating bills instantly. The easiest way to conserve energy by lowering the temperature is with a programmable thermostat. These devices come with a wide range of features to fit any budget and lifestyle.
Other tips include lowering the water heater temperature to 120 degrees and using the heat-boosting cycle for the dishwasher. This lower temperature also increases the longevity of the appliance.
Having your home heating system tuned up will also reduce heating costs, keep it safer and more reliable. To find a top-notch HVAC contractor in the Chicago area, southwestern Michigan or northeastern Indiana, contact Comfort24-7.com.