The U.S. Department of Energy reports that heating and cooling account for 48 percent of energy consumption in the average American home. Heating demands tend to be especially significant in cold-weather locations like Colorado, where furnaces and heat pumps often operate around the clock to keep the icy fingers of winter at bay.
But regardless of the intensity of the demand, there are still several steps you can take to cut your monthly heating bills by 40-50 percent, if you’re willing to invest the time and money necessary to reap these long-term financial rewards.
Lower heating bills are a beautiful thing, and here are five ways you can make them a reality …
1. Put your furnace on a regular maintenance schedule.
Furnaces cannot function at full efficiency when they’re caked with layers of grease, grime and dirt, or gummed up with debris. Therefore, annual cleanings and maintenance inspections by trained HVAC technicians should be considered mandatory, preferably in the fall right before the heating season begins and at other times of the year as needed.
2. Plug all air leaks.
As much as 10-15 percent of the heat energy your furnace produces can leak away through gaps and seams around doors, windows, vents, pipe holes and electrical outlets. Before the winter arrives, these openings should be plugged tightly with caulk, weatherstripping and sealant to eliminate all air leakage. This is a simple and cheap assignment you can perform on your own, so there is no excuse to overlook it.
3. Get a smart thermostat.
Programmable smart thermostats with WiFi capability let you customize your furnace’s performance right down to the minute, even when you’re far away from home. By scheduling your furnace to switch on and off in close coordination with your presence and activity levels, you can reduce your furnace’s operating time (and fuel consumption) by 10 percent or more.
4. Invest in energy-efficient equipment.
If you need a new furnace, heat pump or air conditioner, you should purchase high-efficiency appliances that either carry the federal government’s ENERGY STAR label or offer similar levels of performance. Be sure to look for a furnace that carries an AFUE efficiency rating of 95 percent or higher, which can reduce your heating costs by as much as 15-20 percent in comparison to a standard furnace with an AFUE rating of 80.
5. Switch to a zoned system.
Zoned heating systems are divided into multiple areas, each of which is heated separately and controlled through a location-specific thermostat. Zoned systems can deliver substantial savings over traditional furnaces, if you have a home with remote areas you seldom occupy and have no reason to heat.
Bonus Tip: Hire ABE, We’re the Best
At ABE Heating and Cooling, we’re dedicated to helping you reduce your energy consumption while saving money in the process. Smart upfront investments will pay for themselves many times over as the years pass, and few investments are smarter than letting our certified, trained HVAC technicians maintain, repair or install your new heating and cooling equipment.
If you’re in the Denver Metro area and are thinking of upgrading your HVAC system, or would like to schedule a fall cleaning or maintenance appointment, please call or email us today. ABE delivers fantastic service time after time, and with your help and cooperation we’ll keep your HVAC equipment in tip-top shape.