Energy Savings Tips For Your Home

Energy Savings Tips For Your Home

Indiana winters bring cold air. Some days are colder than others. (as we have found to be true this week!) Winter also means larger electric bills. For most people, heating systems account for the the biggest portion of our electric bill.  Following are some tips that may save you a little money:

Heat LossFireplace

Getting your fireplace ready before winter will result in savings. Fall is the best time to clean and repair your fireplace. However, one tip that can save you money now in the midst of winter is to turn down your alternative heat source when you are using your fireplace. This will save you as much as 8% on heating cost.

Furnace

The furnace will work extra hard if the filter is full of dust. To avoid this, make sure that your filter is clean. A clean filter will not only allow you breath “clean” air; it will also save you money in the long run.

Duct Work

Small leaks on duct-work will result in lost heat so make sure that this is checked periodically. Typically, ducts are located in unheated places such as basements, crawl spaces,etc. The location of the ducts can also result in heat loss. Insulate the ducts by wrapping it with R-6 or higher fiberglass. Never use cloth-backed tapes. You can also wrap them with UL-approved metallic or plastic tapes and mastic sealants. Generally, leaking ducts cause your furnace to work 30% harder so make sure they are sealed and secured.

Solar Heat

You need not have solar panels on your roof to use the sun as the source of heat. All you have to do is use open your drapes during the day to warm your room without using electricity. Just close them at night to keep the warm air inside. Reduction of the use of heating system during the day will  cut as much as 10% on your electric consumption. Just make sure that your windows are sealed and do not contribute to heat loss. In that case, if you are unable to upgrade your windows to something more insulated, you can opt for insulated curtains and leave them closed.

Openings

Openings on your doors, windows, joints and sills will let the cold air in and the warm air out. Make sure that these openings are sealed with either sealant or weatherstripping.

Thermostat

A programmable thermostat will save on your heating cost. It will let you set your desired room temperature on a specific period of the day. This is very useful if you leave your home during the day.  You can program your thermostat lower during the day and when you sleep overnight. One degree lower on your heating system can save you as much as 5% on your heating cost!

Water Heater

Some are tempted to lower the temperature on your water heater to save money. If you have the temperature set too low, you are at risk for bacteria in your tank. At temperatures below 135 to 140, Legionellae bacteria, which is responsible for Legionnaires’ Disease, can survive and even multiply in the water heater tank.  Estimates by LegionellaPrevention.org say that up to 600,000 cases of Legionnaires’ Disease are misdiagnosed as pnemonia each year, because this is something that isn’t tested for in hospitals. To help prevent bacteria growth, the ASSE recommends keeping the water in your water heater tank at about 135 – 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

Tempering valve function

To help prevent bacteria growth and to lower the risk of scalding, have a plumber install a tempering valve and crank up the temperature at your water heater to about 135 – 140, as ASSE recommends.  A tempering valve allows you to keep the water at a dangerously high, Legionellae-killing-temperature inside the water heater tank, yet it mixes cold water in with the hot water right at the outlet, making it so you don’t get this hot water at the rest of the fixtures in your home.

 

 

DISCLAIMER: Neither Indiana USDA Mortgages (IndianaUSDAmortgages.com) nor LeaderOne Financial Corporation is affiliated with any government agencies, including the USDA.

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