Winston-Salem, NC (PRWEB) November 17, 2011
According to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a typical U.S. family spends about $2,200 a year on home utility bills, and heating accounts for the biggest chunk of those expenses.
As the cold weather of winter creeps in, Triad homeowners are dreading the high costs that are associated with heating their residences. Coupled with the recent announcement that Duke Energy has asked the North Carolina Utilities Commission for a rate increase, this means homeowners will deal with spiraling costs at a time of year when it is difficult enough to meet their household budget.
According to Scott Boyles, president of Logan Heating and Air Conditioning, homeowners have more power than they may realize to lower their heating bills. Here are some of Boyles’ tips for no-cost or low-cost ways to keep a little more cash in your pocket this winter season.
1. Change out your air filters. “Dirty filters lead to higher heating bills,” says Boyles. “How often you will need to change filters will vary, but you should check the filter monthly.”
2. Weather strip your windows and doors .“Try this simple test,” Boyles suggests. “Light a candle and hold it near windows and doors to see if the flame flickers or the smoke moves in a horizontal direction. If it does, you need to seal the area with weather stripping or add some sort of insulating material.”
3. Lower your water heater temperature .“Everyone talks about lowering your heat thermostat,” says Boyles, “but they forget that turning down the dial on the water heater will also help shave a few dollars off each heating bill.”
4. Pay attention to your window coverings. “Keeping your windows covered when it’s cold and dark outside will help you reduce heat loss, especially if you have older windows,” Boyles said. “In contrast, when the sun is shining, open your window shades and let the sun shine in. The rays of the sun will naturally heat your home.”
5. Check your air ducts for leakage. “Even brand new homes have duct leakage,” says Boyles. “In fact the average home loses 20 to 30 percent of its heat through the ducts. Having someone assess your ducts and remedy any leakages can greatly decrease the amount on the check written for your heating bill each month.”
6. Be a super heating sleuth. “At times, simply checking the exterior of your heating unit can uncover clues as to why your heating bills are out of control,” Boyles continued. “If anything is leaning against the heat pump or draping over it, it will impact your heating efficiency. Check for fluid around the unit, which may indicate blockage of the condensate drain and pan. And keep the unit clear from natural debris, such as leaves and dirt.
7. Operate vents minimally. “Bath and kitchen vents exhaust heated air and moisture outside,” says Boyles, “but if your home is dry during the winter, you may not need to operate these vents, which will help lessen opportunities for heat to escape.”
With some planning and action, heating bills may not be as astronomical as we fear. For more information on ways to keep high heating bills at bay, contact Scott Boyles at sboyles(at)loganhvac(dot)com or by calling 336-924-4161.
About Logan Heating and Air Conditioning – Logan HVAC is a leading heating and air conditioning service provider in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina and has been providing services since 1952. In addition to HVAC repairs and replacements, the company offers duct leakage assessments that can offset regular increases in heating fees. Logan is a proud provider of green energy solutions and supplier of excellent heating systems such as Carrier and WaterFurnace.