To improve home energy efficiency and reduce heating bills, homeowners can follow these energy-saving tips:
Schedule a Preventative Maintenance Tune-Up
Ideally, homeowners should schedule a preventive maintenance tune-up for their heating system in the fall, before the busy heating season arrives. Regardless of your heating system type (gas furnace, electric furnace, heat pump), a maintenance tune-up helps the system function more efficiently throughout the season.
On average, homes in the Ottawa area lose 20 to 30 percent of their heated air through duct leaks. Damage, gaps, loose fittings, and disconnected sections allow heated air to escape before it reaches your rooms while letting cold air into the ducts. As a result, the heating system compensates by expending more energy to replace the heat lost, using 20 to 30 percent more energy. Duct repair can eliminate these costly leaks, significantly lowering your heating and cooling costs.
Seal Air Leaks
Many homeowners overlook the amount of air they lose through air leaks. Heated air is also able to escape through other areas of the home, such as windows and doors that don’t shut tightly, gaps and cracks around window frames and door jambs, vent, piping, or wiring holes through exterior walls, and uninsulated or under-insulated attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Air leak sealing is essential to reduce heat loss. Add weatherstripping to all exterior doorways, seal windows and door frames both indoors and out, and seal around exterior wall penetrations outdoors as well as on the interior of the wall. This will help your home retain its heated air and keep your monthly energy bill down.
Heating and cooling your home can be a significant expense, particularly if your home is not well insulated. Upgrading your insulation can be a great way to improve your home’s energy efficiency and lower your monthly electric bills and heating costs. Proper insulation can also help reduce noise levels and create a more comfortable living environment. Older homes are especially prone to this problem, as they were often built before modern insulation standards were put in place.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
A professional HVAC consultant can evaluate your current HVAC system, ask about your energy goals, and recommend a thermostat that works well with your existing system. A programmable thermostat can help reduce your costs more than a typical electric bill.
Change Your Furnace Filter
Dirty furnace filters block the flow of air through your heating system, forcing the blower motor to expend more energy to pull air through the system and push heated air into your living areas. Regularly replacing your furnace filter can avoid this problem. How often to change it depends on the type of filter, heating usage, and other factors specific to your home. Most people get by with furnace filter changes every two to three months.
Upgrade Your Heating Unit
If high heating bills are an ongoing issue, consider installing a new furnace or heat pump. Although the initial investment may be higher than continuing to use your current system, newer models are much more energy-efficient. They use less fuel to produce the same amount of heat, resulting in lower monthly bills. Additionally, newer models are often better able to maintain a consistent temperature, which can also reduce costs.
Use Curtains and Drapes Strategically
Another effective way to lower heating bills is to use curtains and drapes to your advantage. During the day, open curtains and drapes on south-facing windows to let in the sunlight and natural heat. At night, close them to keep the heat inside. You can also use thicker curtains and drapes in winter to add an extra layer of insulation and keep the cold air out. Using curtains and drapes strategically can help your heating system work more efficiently, reducing your energy consumption and bills.
If you’re in need of a new heating system in your Ottawa home, contact Oria Heating and Cooling today. We’re a top ranked HVAC company for a reason! Our Heating Solutions are designed to ensure that you have the best possible heating system customized to the requirements of your home or office, and our knowledgeable crew is committed to a fast, reliable service that will never leave you in the cold.