How Can I Lower My Heating Bill this Winter?

San Diego is known for its sun and surf, but it can also get a little chilly every winter. Even though we don’t use our furnace as much here, there’s still a winter spike on your utility bills.

For those who want to avoid the headache of winter budgeting, here are 10 ways to lower your heating bill.

For Anyone Wondering, “How Can I Lower My Heating Bill?”:

1. Seal All Air Leaks

Just because a crack is small doesn’t mean it can’t do damage. Unchecked cracks and air leaks can be blamed for 25% to 40% of your monthly utility bill.

Don’t let money literally fly out the window! There is an easy, albeit somewhat tedious, way to take care of this.

First, wait for a windy day. Then, when there’s a semi-strong breeze, hold a piece of paper up to your windows. Do you see it flapping in the wind? That’s a sign you need to seal an air leak.

Sealing an air leak is easy enough. Simply caulk a crack or add weather stripping to your windows. You’ll also want to preform this paper test on light fixtures and doors.

2. Leave the Curtains Open

The summer can get so hot that we tell our clients to keep their homes sealed up and away from the heat. However, we’re changing direction during the winter.

Leave your curtains open to lower heating bills this winter.

Tis the season to leave your blinds and curtains open during the day. This allows any natural heat to come into your home. Then close the curtains at sunset to keep that heat inside.

3. Dress for the Season

We all know you have a sweater hidden somewhere in your closet. Now is the time to pull it out!

You wouldn’t wear sweatpants in the middle of summer, right? Dressing for the season is a good way to cut down on your heating costs.

Stay warm and dress for the season!

This can also apply to home décor. For the winter months, we recommend cozy, flannel sheets that trap warmth. Also, be sure to keep a blanket on the couch and strategically placed rugs for those with hardwood floors.

4. Check Your Air Filter

One of the best things you can do for your home and HVAC system is to regularly check and change your air filter.

This little part plays a big role in your overall health and wellness. Not only do air filters catch dust from settling into your HVAC system, but they also trap dander, allergens, and other indoor air contaminates.

Far too often we go into client homes and see an air filter that is dirty or overfull. When an air filter is clogged, it can’t catch dust and dander, meaning your air is dirty. Your HVAC system also can’t run efficiently with an overfull air filter.

An air filter that’s free of clogs and relatively clean is an efficient air filter. It allows for treated air to freely move through it. On the other hand, when an air filter is too full, air has to be forced through it. This extra bit of force puts strain on your HVAC system and in turn, makes your utility bill go up.

At ASI, we recommend checking your air filter every month and replacing it every six months. We stress the monthly check because there are some environmental conditions that can clog an air filter.

For example, a home near a construction site with lots of dust may need to change their air filter more often. The same can be said for a family with large, longhaired dogs, it all depends on your environment.

5. Close the Doors

Do you have any rooms that aren’t used very often? We’re talking about a guest room or guest bathroom. Maybe a craft room that’s just down the hall. When your air is on, remember to shut the door to those rooms.

Keep in mind, we are not telling you to close the vents, you will still want air circulating through the rooms. Just keep the door shut.

Your HVAC system works to replenish any lost heat. By closing the doors and keeping those rooms warm, you’re allowing your furnace to rest, which will lower your utility bills.

6. Check Your Insulation

That cotton candy colored stuff that’s in the attic is actually a crucial part of overall comfort. During the summer, insulation keeps your home cool. And during the winter, insulation helps your home retain heat.

Insulation can go many years without needing to be changed or replaced, but it does have a lifespan and can fail under certain conditions. An example of this is water damage. When insulation is water damaged, it deteriorates at a fast rate.

Are you a new homeowner? Or you just can’t remember the last time you even thought about insulation? Both of these are indicators it’s time to call someone in to take a look.

An HVAC professional will come in, inspect your attic, and let you know about the current state of your insulation.

7. Use the Oven

One of our favorite ways to keep warm is by cooking. It’s even better when we can get the whole family in on it as well.

Cooking something in the oven or on the stove is a nice, natural way to heat your home. Just remember to crack your oven after its off to let the heat waft through your home.

8. Turn Down the Thermostat

We know, turning down the thermostat in the winter sounds very counterintuitive, but hear us out. For every season, there is an optimal thermostat setting.

During the winter, we recommend keeping your thermostat at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Yes, this seems low, but it will keep your home cozy and lower your heating bill.

A furnace only heats a small amount of air at a time. This is why it takes a few minutes to heat the home. No matter how high your crank your thermostat, it’ll still heat your home at the same pace.

9. Don’t Forget Your Fireplace

There’s something special about making a hot chocolate and sitting in front of the fire on a cold night. Just make sure you’re not lighting your money on fire as well.

Unfortunately, a lot of your warm, treated air can be lost through the chimney. Always be sure that you close the damper after the fire is out.

It’s also equally important that you remember to open the damper before lighting a fire. Starting a fire with a closed damper will send a huge amount of smoke into your house and has the potential to be dangerous to you and your home.

10. Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up

Second to changing the air filter, the best thing you can do keep your HVAC system in tip top shape is to schedule regular tune-ups.

While conducting a furnace tune-up, one of our HVAC experts will go through every part of your system. They will clean and inspect all the pieces to make sure your system is running as efficiently as possible.

At ASI, we recommend two tune-ups per year. Once in the spring before you’re turning on the AC everyday and once in the fall before it’s time to put on the furnace.

Simply call the number at the top of the screen or click here to book an appointment online.