The weather in Raleigh and the surrounding areas can fluctuate wildly; on a Saturday in February, the temperature went from 24° in the morning to 59° in the afternoon! Such quick changes mean that your HVAC system has to work harder to keep up with the conditions, and that may be reflected in higher heating bills. Here are a few tricks to help you keep costs down all year long.
Cover Your Windows
Windows account for 25% of heat loss in homes. Covering your windows with transparent plastic can save you 14% on your heating bills. It’s inexpensive (about $6 to cover three windows) and the plastic is easy to remove when the weather warms up. If you’re hesitant to make the effort on your whole home, try insulating the windows in the rooms you use the least. More expensive and permanent options like Energy Film save you money throughout the year by reducing heat loss in the winter and blocking solar heat in the summer.
Want a prettier alternative? Get some curtains. Keep the curtains open on south-facing windows to warm your house with the sun’s heat during the day, and close all of the curtains at night to help prevent it from escaping.
Buy a Space Heater
Do you work from home? Maybe you spend most of your time in the kitchen or the living room. If you tend to ‘plant’ in one or two rooms in your house for much of the day, consider buying a space heater. We would never recommend heating your entire home with a space heater, but if you’re in your home office all day, buy a small one and put it under your desk. You don’t need anything fancy; you can find a space heater on Amazon for only $20. Once you’ve installed your space heater, turn your thermostat down or off. Each degree you lower your thermostat can save you 3% on your heating bill. Just remember to turn the space heater off when you leave your house.
Insulate Your Water Heater
Older water heaters may not be insulated very well. You can buy insulating blankets for your water heater, saving you 7-16% in water heating costs annually. Some utility companies offer rebates or discounts on water heater blankets, and may help you install them. If yours doesn’t, don’t worry – they are easy to install on your own. Energy.gov offers simple instructions for installing a water heater blanket.
If you are purchasing a new water heater, ask [client] about insulation options. Electric water heaters can be insulated underneath the tank when they are first installed. If your heating bills are growing and you aren’t sure why, call [client] at [phone] and ask about a home energy audit. We’ll help you lower your heating bills for years to come!