Reevaluating your household expenses is always a smart move, especially at the start of a new year. During the winter season, you can find plenty of cost-effective ways to trim heating expenses for your Alabama home. From replacing the air filter to scheduling HVAC maintenance, take a look at six ways to lower your heating costs this winter.
Replace the HVAC Filter
Take a quick look through your household calendar. If the last time you replaced the HVAC filter was more than three months ago, you're overdue for a change. These filters are designed to trap dust, dander, pollen, and other substances circulating through your home's air supply. When they get clogged, they can reduce your heating system's efficiency, which costs you more. HVAC filters are inexpensive to buy, and you can replace them yourself in just a few minutes, so installing a fresh filter is one of the easiest ways to cut your HVAC costs this winter.
Look for Drafts
No matter how efficient your HVAC system might be, it won't be able to keep your home nice and warm if cold air continually finds its way inside. To find drafts in your home, check for cool breezes around windows and doors. Adding weatherstripping material around windows and installing a draft stopper under exterior doors can stop cold air in its tracks. If you find drafts around electrical outlets, try adding loose insulation or low-expanding foam behind the outlet plate to keep cold air away.
Let in Natural Light
If you love sunshine, you'll undoubtedly want to get as much natural light as you can during the winter months. While it's smart to keep your curtains or blinds open while the sun is out, be sure to close them when the sun sets. By doing so, you'll minimize any energy loss through the windows and prevent drafts from leaking inside.
To maximize your curtains' insulating abilities, make sure they cover the entire window and consider using Velcro to affix the outer border of each curtain to the surrounding wall. You could lower heat loss by 25 percent, which could translate to big energy savings.
Check the Thermostat
If your thermostat is still set for fall weather, you could be wasting tons of energy every month. Get your heating costs in check by setting your programmable thermostat to 68 degrees only when the family is typically home and awake. When everyone is away at work or asleep at night, dial back the temperature to 58 degrees. You'll save money every month, and you'll also give your heating system a break. This could extend its lifespan, which will save you even more money in the long run.
Adjust Humidity Levels
Did you know that higher levels of moisture in the air make the air feel warmer than the temperature would have you believe? Winter air tends to be dry, which means it often feels cooler than it should. Rather than turning up the thermostat and wasting energy, talk with the AC Southeast team about installing a whole-house humidifier. Not only will this HVAC add-on make your home feel warmer and improve the indoor air quality in your home, but the added humidity will also make your skin feel more moisturized all winter long.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Professional HVAC maintenance comes with a small upfront cost, but it pays off for months and years to come. Our team recommends scheduling HVAC tuneups twice a year to ensure that your heating and cooling system runs as smoothly as possible, no matter the weather. When you call our team for a tuneup, we'll calibrate the system, lubricate moving parts, check wiring, and refill fluids to keep your HVAC system operating at peak efficiency. If we identify an issue that could cost you down the road, we'll bring it to your attention now before it causes an expensive breakdown.
Whether you need to schedule heating system maintenance or you're in the market for indoor air quality add-ons, our team is here to help. Contact one of our HVAC experts at AC Southeast today.