Winter is almost here – and, yes, North Carolina is predicted to have a chilly one in 2017/2018 – and that means rising energy expenses for many. Stay warm and save money with these six tips.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
In the hot summer months, ceiling fans spin counterclockwise to push air down and create a cooling breeze. In the winter, adjust your ceiling fans to spin clockwise to create an updraft that pushes heated air back down into the room.
Clean and Inspect Your Chimney
While a crackling fire in the fireplace is perfect for winter, chimneys can also allow cold air to seep into the house. Before cold weather sets in, make sure your chimney works properly. Ensure that the flue damper opens, closes and locks correctly, and check the flue for obstructions such as bird nests and buildup. If you haven’t gotten your chimney cleaned or inspected in over a year, call a professional chimney sweep.
Buy a Programmable Thermostat
According to the EPA’s Energy Star Program, homes that install programmable thermostats can save about $180 each year in energy costs. Programmable thermostats automatically turn off when you don’t need them, preventing energy waste. Smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee are newer options that can sense weather and humidity and track energy savings.
Replace Furnace Filters
Old, dirty filters make your furnace less efficient, raise your heating bills, and wear out your furnace. Check your owner’s manual and change your furnace filters as often as suggested. Typically, furnaces require a filter change every month in winter and every three months in spring, summer and fall.
Seal Furnace Ducts
In most houses, 20% of the air that moves through heating ducts is lost through leaks and holes, according to a report by Energy Star. Some signs of leaking ducts are high utility bills, difficulty heating or cooling particular rooms, and ducts located in an attic, garage or crawlspace. Luckily, a professional handyman can easily seal most of the leaks and holes. Before sealing, be sure to have a contractor conduct a combustion safety test.
Insulate Hot Water Heater and Pipes
Uninsulated hot water pipes and heaters waste energy by allowing heated water to cool down before it reaches its destination. Foam pipe sleeves make your hot water heater more efficient and are available at most hardware stores. Be sure to note the length and diameter of your pipes before buying sleeves. For the hot water heater itself, try a fitted insulating blanket. Check your owner’s manual or instructions on the water heater to see whether a blanket will be helpful. You should usually avoid insulating blankets for tankless or pre-insulated water heaters.
Charlotte Roofing Contractor Offers General Handyman Services!
If you need help preparing your house for winter, whether that means repairing your roof or insulating your attic, Camden Roofing & Construction can help. We also provide general handyman services such as HVAC maintenance, ceiling fan services, gutter cleaning and repair and much more to help you save on energy costs this winter. For more information, contact us online or call us at 704-858-2141.