You may think that your energy bills are pretty much set in stone each season, especially if you have been in your home for some time and have had the opportunity to gauge your bills’ trends over a period of years. However, this is no reason to become complacent with your energy efficiency efforts and by no means indicates that there aren’t areas for improvement.
If you are looking for some ways in which to increase energy efficiency when it comes to your home and its heating bills, here are a few tips that might help you improve efficiency and lower costs.
Division of Space
Reducing the amount of space within your home that you must heat can significantly affect your energy efficiency. From closing off vents and doors to unused rooms to shutting off entire floors of unused space, you could find your energy costs being reduced dramatically. Even hanging a sheet from a curtain rod to reduce the heat flow being lost up an unused staircase can help cut heating costs.
Adjusting your comfort level can be another effective way in energy savings. In addition to closing off certain sections of your home, by turning down the thermostat and using energy efficient (and safe) space heaters to warm the portions of your home that you are currently using can cut energy costs.
Additionally, turning down the heat down when you are warm and cozy in bed or away at work can also increase your energy efficiency. Utilizing a programmable thermostat can help you to better control your heating usage when you are out of the house or sleeping.
Plugging the Gaps
You could be losing a significant amount of warm air through gaps and cracks in your home. Spaces between doors, gaps in window seals, and similar areas in which cold air could be seeping in or warm air escaping could decrease the ability of your home to remain energy efficient. To detect such gaps, consider holding a lit candle at a safe distance in front the area in question to see if the flame wavers due to airflow. Patching or filling these spaces or replacing windows with energy efficient windows or doors could help your heating efficiency.
In an effort to increase the ability of your home to retain heat, it could also be worthwhile to consider replacing old or deteriorated insulation in areas such as the attic, basement or crawlspace. You might also want to use window seals to cover windows during colder months in order to help you reduce heat loss.
You might be surprised at just how much of a difference your heating unit can make in your energy efficiency. Even if your unit is less than ten years old, you could recognize significant savings in your energy bills with a new model, although the savings will likely be recognized over a longer period of time and the amount may depend upon the severity of winter temperatures in your geographic location.
Whatever your methods or attempts to conserve energy, it can be important to the success of your efforts that you track and gauge your progress. Doing so can help you determine whether your efforts are successful and how you might improve upon or change them for next year.
Kathy and her husband own a company that sells and installs <a href="http://www.superiorwindowcompany.com">replacement windows in Houston</a>. She enjoys writing about energy efficient products that can help home owners save more and spend less. For more energy saving tips visit http://www.superiorwindowcompany.com.