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Why Winter Energy Bills Spike And How To Keep Them Manageable

With the cold temperatures of winter settling into most communities, homeowners are bracing as their utility bills begin to spike. Of course, an increase is expected when you start to use your furnace. But when your bill doubles or triples, it is time to take a closer look to determine why you see such a dramatic increase. And then it is time to figure out how to reduce the cost. You might think that only your furnace energy consumption increases during the winter months, but there are many other factors that you might be overlooking.

Some Inefficiencies

In most homes, the HVAC system is the largest consumer of energy. And if your furnace is over ten years old, it is likely to be very inefficient in its use of power. So you might want to start shopping for an Energy Star rated furnace. The Energy Star badge indicates that the unit is one of the most energy-efficient on the market. After purchasing an Energy Star furnace, many homeowners report that their energy bills dropped substantially and that they are more comfortable in their homes because of the new furnace’s increased function.

Your furnace is not the only bad guy when it comes to high heating bills. In some cases, your house is also to blame. If there is not enough insulation in your walls, floors, and ceilings, much of your warm air can be escaping. Other culprits include the doors, windows, and skylights. These openings need to have good seals to keep the warm air inside your home and reduce your heating cost.

Other Energy Increases In The Winter

You might not think about the amount of laundry that you wash each week, but that will change drastically in the winter. When you transition from shorts and t-shirts to long pants, heavy shirts, and bulky sweaters, your workload increases, and so does the workload of your washer and dryer. Other increases in your home’s electricity use can be attributed to fewer daylight hours, so you are using lights longer each night. And then there is the additional energy being consumed by cooking. Grilling outdoors, eating more salads, and quick summer meals, turn into longer prep and cook winter comfort foods. And while they are very enjoyable, they require more energy to prepare them.

Ways To Save On Costly Winter Heating Bills

There are a few obvious things that you can do to decrease the cost of heating your home. The first one is to bundle up a bit more. Add an extra sweater so that you can lower the thermostat by a few degrees. Dropping just a few degrees on a traditional thermostat can reduce your heating cost by as much as 10%.

However, if you are not willing to wear more layers in the house, consider upgrading to a programmable thermostat. They are very affordable and offer significant savings on your energy cost. The biggest benefit is that you can set a comfortable temperature when you are at home and awake, then a lower temperature setting when you are away or asleep. When you add up all the hours that you are sleeping or away from home each week, you might be surprised to find that you will be reducing the temperature in your home almost half the time. And that will translate into a handsome savings on your heating cost.

Schedule A Tune-Up

Think about the benefits of taking your car in for a tune-up. It runs better, and the gas mileage increases. And the same benefits come from a furnace tune-up. A Payne’s Heating and Air Conditioning pro will inspect your furnace and HVAC components, clean as needed, and make sure that everything is operating as efficiently as possible. To schedule your tune-up or learn more about ways to reduce your winter heating cost, call (850) 831-4599.