Having a nice cozy home is wonderful during the cold Omaha winters, but paying big heating bills…not so wonderful. The team at Getzschman has you covered! Here are some simple tips that will save you money on your winter heating bill, but cost you absolutely nothing. Try these tips for a comfortable yet affordable winter season this year.
1. Set Your Programmable Thermostat for Maximum Savings
Your programmable thermostat is your most important tool for lowering your utility bills. What’s great about it is that you can set it and forget it and it will continue to save you money all season. Surprisingly, many homeowners don’t know the best way to program it. In the winter, you should set the temperature a bit lower to keep the house cooler. This is especially true during periods when you’re out of the house or asleep. This can add up to 16 hours a day if you work out of the home.
You can compensate for cooler temperatures at night with flannel sheets, extra blankets, and warmer pajamas. Aim to maintain set temperatures for at least eight hours at a time. This is the most efficient way for your furnace to operate. It’s easy to program it to come on an hour before you get home from work so it’s nice and comfortable. And don’t worry if your thermostat is set lower and you are home unexpectedly. They all have an easy override feature that automatically resumes the regular schedule at the next cycle, so it’s easy to change on the fly!
2. Change Your Air Filter
All of the air in your home has to cycle through the air filter. When the filter is clean, it takes less energy for the furnace to pull air through. A dirty filter results in higher energy bills. Check your air filter once a month. If you can see a visible buildup of dust and dirt, change the filter immediately. Swap your air filter for a new one at least once every three months. This doesn’t take much time. Mark a reminder on your calendar so you don’t forget each month.
3. Make Damper Is Closed in Your Fireplace
A fireplace feels cozy when you use it, but it’s not very efficient. When not in use, it can be extremely inefficient if you leave the damper open. All of the warm air in your home will escape right up the chimney flue. Because it’s out of sight, many people forget about it and leave it open costing them precious warm air all winter long. Make sure yours is closed.
4. Use Window Coverings Wisely
Don’t forget to take advantage of Mother Nature. Your windows can provide a wonderful source of warmth when you use them properly. On sunny days, open the curtains on south-facing windows to allow the sun’s warmth to shine in. Keep the curtains closed on other windows to stop warm air from escaping. Close all the blinds and curtains at night to keep warm air in. It’s that simple.
Bonus Tip: Schedule Furnace Maintenance
Our fifth and bonus tip is not free, but a very good idea regardless, so we didn’t want to leave it off the list. Your furnace is more efficient when it’s well maintained. You should schedule a furnace tune-up once a year. The best time for this is in early fall. That way, you won’t turn your system on when it gets cold and find out it doesn’t work. During a tune-up, your system is thoroughly cleaned which helps it run more efficiently, loose parts are tightened, moving parts are lubricated, electrical connections are double checked and your furnace will run at peak efficiency. In addition to lowering your heating bill, this will also help prevent repair calls and extend the life of your system.