You can lower your heat bills this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.
Winters are usually mild in Lubbock, Texas, but you’ll occasionally have to deal with chilly days. Heating is responsible for a large chunk of utility bills in winter, so heating more efficiently can help many households save hundreds of dollars per year. You can lower your heating costs and stay comfortable this winter by adding insulation, using a humidifier, installing a programmable thermostat, and maintaining your HVAC system.
Many types of insulation become compact over time. Leaks can form, and mold can grow on them. Even if your insulation is in good condition, adding more and replacing any damaged portions will keep additional heat inside your home and conserve energy. This also prevents drafts and makes your home more comfortable.
Look for drafts by turning your heater off to eliminate airflow. Then, hold a candle, a piece of string, or some incense near any cold areas in your home. When the string or the smoke from the incense moves or the candle flickers, it’s near a gap in your insulation. You can get rid of drafts underneath doors or windows by adding weatherstripping. Use caulk to fix smaller leaks near electrical outlets and light fixtures.
Using a Humidifier
Humidity is naturally lower in winter, and using your heater can make the air in your home even drier. Dry winter air can lead to nosebleeds, sore throats, dry eyes, and itchy skin. It can also make your home feel cold and cause cracks in wood floors and furniture.
Using a humidifier makes your home feel warmer and lets you save energy by running your heat less often. It can also keep viruses from spreading and prevent costly damage to your home. You can have a whole-home humidifier installed in your ductwork or use a less expensive portable version in one or two rooms at a time.
Installing a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is more accurate than most manual thermostats. You can set it to turn down the heat when you’re away or sleeping and then return your place to a comfortable temperature half an hour before you return or wake up. A more sophisticated smart thermostat can learn your schedule on its own over time so you won’t even have to program. You can control many of these thermostats from your computer or smartphone. Some models can control more than one indoor HVAC unit, and it’s easy to add a separate unit for new additions or different floors.
Other HVAC systems have programmable thermostats that can direct heat or air conditioning to the rooms where it’s needed most through specially designed ductwork. This feature, called zoning, lets you avoid heating or cooling empty rooms. It also allows people to choose the temperature they want for their bedrooms, home offices, or any other areas where they spend lots of time. That way, everyone can save energy while staying more comfortable.
Maintaining Your HVAC System
Regular maintenance helps you catch energy-wasting problems like leaky ductwork or a malfunctioning motor before you waste lots of energy or have to make expensive repairs. You should have your heater checked by a professional at least once per year. Also, change your system’s air filter at least every three months. A dirty, clogged filter can reduce your airflow, lower your indoor air quality, and force your HVAC system to run more and use additional energy.
You should check your outdoor unit for sticks, leaves, grass clippings, and other debris as well. These obstructions and reduce airflow and cause costly malfunctions. If your utility bills start rising suddenly, if you hear strange noises, or if you notice a burning smell when your system has been on for a while, an expert should check your system and repair it if needed.
Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning, has more than 40 years of experience, and we’re a Amana Factory Authorized Dealer. We can help you lower your heating bills this winter by installing, maintaining, or repairing a variety of systems, including humidifiers and programmable thermostats. Call us anytime at 806-589-1014 for outstanding service from friendly, knowledgeable professionals.
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