Winter Heating Tips

istock_24922711_large-1With winter’s chill approaching, the possibility of high heating bills is looming in the back of the minds of many homeowners in our area. While last winter was warm and heating costs low, it was only two years ago that we saw exceptionally cold weather and record high heating costs.

At Woolley Home Solutions, we’d like to help our area customers save money on their heating bills while still enjoying the comfort of a well-heated home–and the safety of a well-maintained heating system.

Below are some tips our home heating experts have compiled to help you stay warm and safe this winter and beyond.

Annual Heating System Inspections & Tune-Ups

You likely see and hear advertisements for furnace and/or air conditioning maintenance agreements every Fall and Spring. Although many are skeptical of the benefits, they really do provide value to homeowners. Not only can potential issues be addressed before they become full blown problems, the general maintenance and cleaning can help your system operate more efficiently–reducing your heating bills and keeping your home more comfortable.

More importantly, a trained technician will assess your heating system for safety concerns. This is particularly important for gas furnaces since gas leaks can result in health and safety issues.

Lock In Pricing

During warmer months demand for natural gas and heating oil declines–often leading to a decrease in prices. Many companies will allow you to lock in prices for the year, making off-peak season the ideal time to lock into a natural gas or heating oil contract. This can result in savings of hundreds of dollars each winter.

Upgrade to a More Efficient System

HVAC systems today are much more energy efficient than systems produced just 10 years ago. Upgrading to a new system can shave hundreds of dollars off your energy bills each year. In some cases, the savings may even exceed the monthly financing charges–meaning you see a positive return on investment from day one!

Install a Programmable Thermostat

Although you want your home to be as comfortable as possible, there’s no need to heat it when nobody’s around. More often than not, people will put their heat on and then leave the house, forgetting to turn it down to a more energy efficient setting. A programmable thermostat allows you to set your thermostat to change automatically during certain times. For example, if everyone leaves the home for school and work by 9:00 AM and nobody returns until 3:30 PM, you can set the programmable thermostat to automatically drop in temperature at 9:00 AM and then go back up at 3:30 PM. This will save a considerable amount of energy.

Change Your Air Filters Regularly

If you use a central furnace to heat your home, then make sure that you either clean or replace your filters once a month. This could help you cut your energy bills down by five percent. Dirty filters can inhibit airflow, causing your furnace to work harder to achieve the same results.

Use Your Ceiling Fans

Run your ceiling fan in a clockwise direction during the winter. Doing so will help push rising hot air back down around the room, thereby providing your home with more even heating. By doing this, your heating system won’t have to work as much in order to heat the entire home.

Use The Sun to Your Advantage

Believe it or not, but the way you use your window shades can have a big impact on how energy efficient your home is. Keep your shades open during the day on the side of the house that the sun is shining. This will allow you to bring in as much of the sun’s heat as possible, thereby allowing you to rely less on your heating system. Once the sun goes down, don’t forget to close the shades in order to keep heat trapped inside and to prevent cold air from coming in through the glass windows.

For More Tips, Contact Woolley Home Solutions Today

For additional advice on how you can cut down on energy use, or for information about our heating and HVAC services, be sure to contact us at Woolley Home Solutions today.