When your furnace or boiler comes on for the winter, or you switch your heat pump into heating mode, you can expect a rise utility bills. That’s the nature of the beast—but the beast doesn’t need to be as fierce or bite as hard as it does. You’re probably paying more for your winter heating in Marlton, NJ than necessary.
Getting a grip on those beastly bills isn’t as tough as it might seem. In some cases, you’ll need to upgrade older equipment. In others, some basic steps will help lower costs. Below is our advice for making the cost of winter heating cost less.
Maintenance—always, always, always!
Did you already schedule maintenance for your heating system with HVAC technicians? If not, do this first, before the temperatures drop further. Annual professional maintenance has numerous benefits, and one of them is it prevents a heating system from losing energy efficiency and costing more to run. You’ll save many hundreds of dollars over the life of your heating system if you keep up with maintenance.
Change the air filter on a regular schedule
Leaving the air filter in place for the entirety of winter is a fast way to increase heating costs needlessly. (This doesn’t apply to a boiler, which isn’t a forced-air system.) It can only take a month for the filter to clog up and put extra strain on the blower fan that will raise your utility bills. Make sure you start the winter with a fresh filter in place and change it for a new filter every 1 to 3 months.
Set the thermostat at 68°F during the day
This is the ideal energy-saving thermostat temperature during the day when people are home. Put on a warm layer of clothing and 68°F should be enough for comfort. If it isn’t, we recommend raising the temperature to around 72°F and then lowering it by one degree per day to help people acclimatize. Each degree lower you set the thermostat means a 2% increase in savings. If you’re used to keeping the thermostat up at 78°F, the change to 68°F can mean paying 20% less over winter for heat.
Upgrade to a “smart” thermostat
If you have extra money for home improvements this winter, we recommend removing an old manual thermostat or no-frills digital one and having professionals install a smart thermostat. This type of thermostat monitors conditions in the house and your history of settings to develop its own program. A smart thermostat maximizes savings without a loss in comfort. (It’s essential you leave the installation to a pro, since a poorly matched HVAC system and thermostat can damage the components.)
Send those ceiling fans the other direction
If you have ceiling fans to help cool people during the summer, they can help out in winter as well. On the base of the fan, you’ll find a switch. Toggle this switch, and the fan blades will turn clockwise rather than counterclockwise. What this does is pull air from the top of the room and push it downward. Because heat gathers at the ceiling, the reversed ceiling fan helps distribute the warm air through the space faster.
Gibson Heating & Cooling serves the greater Cherry Hill, NJ area. Let us help you with your heating this winter.