Heating Efficiency Tips
Heating information - Simple ways to make your system run more efficiently
Pay attention to the thermostat. Keeping the temperature a few degrees cooler can lower your heating bill and you can still be comfortable. It's a matter of personal preference but setting your thermostat to 68°F can help you save energy. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to set the thermostat back automatically at night and while you're away from home during the day.
Seal heating ducts and insulate ducts that run through unheated spaces. Check forced-air furnace filters regularly and clean or replace them as often as once each month during the heating season. Shake reusable filters outside or spray them with a garden hose. Be sure they're dry before replacing.
Drapes can add an extra layer of insulation. Blinds also can insulate, but they aren't as effective. Keep your drapes closed at night and on sunny days, open up the drapes and blinds to let in the sun's free heat, especially on the south side.
Don't block registers, baseboards, radiators or cold air returns. Air must circulate through and around them for maximum efficiency.
If you are installing a new system, consider shopping for a heat pump to increase energy efficiency. Look for the Energy Guide label
that contains the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio)
, which measures efficiency during the cooling season. Also look at the HSPF (Heating Seasonal Performance Factor)
which measures energy-efficiency during the heating season. Look for 7.2 HSPF and 12 SEER or higher.
How to Stay Warm
Limit the loss of expensive heated air to the outside.
Use kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans sparingly. In just one hour, these fans can blow away a house full of warm air. Turn fans off as soon as they have done their job.
Keep fireplace dampers tightly closed until you prepare to light a fire. An open damper in a 48-inch square fireplace can let as much as 8 percent of our heat escape out the chimney. When using your fireplace, limit the amount of heated air drawn from the rest of the house. Open dampers in the bottom of the firebox if provided, or open the closest window about 1 inch and close any doors leading into the room. This will allow air in for the fire while reducing heat loss from the rest of the house.
Draft-proof windows, doors and other air leaks. Begin by picking a cold, windy day to test your windows and doors for air- tightness. Make sure there is no air coming from registers near the windows and you'll be able to find many leaks simply by feeling around frames and sashes with your hand. Or you can make a simple "draft detector" by clipping a piece of tissue paper or light plastic to a coat hanger. Hold the coat hanger in front of a suspected crack; any movement of the paper will
indicate an air leak that needs caulking and/or weather-stripping. Caulking and weather-stripping are reasonably easy, so you may be able to save money by doing the job yourself. Materials will cost less than $100 for an average house having 12 windows and 2 doors. Savings in annual energy costs could be as much as 10 percent, so draft-proofing your home can pay for itself very quickly. In addition, reducing air leaks to a minimum may also allow you to lower the thermostat on your heating system without causing discomfort.
Your Old Radiator Heat or New Radiant Heat
Radiant floor heating is one of the most desired "add-ons" for both new and old homes. By installing PEX pipe in the floor of tiled baths, kitchens and basements, these traditionally cold area's can be warm and toasty. The water can be heated by an efficient boiler or a water heater. Radiant floor heating offers the most comfortable and energy efficient method to deliver warmth, especially in homes with high ceilings.
Top Ten Reasons to Have Radiant Heating Intalled
Comfort- like sunshine, a constant source of warmth.
Energy Efficient- lower water temperatures providing even heat.
Quiet- no fan noise or snap, crackle and pop of baseboard.
Dust Free- no forced air movement, less allergic exposure.
Warm Floors- no one likes cold tile.
Easy to Control- room by room control through thermostats and zoning.
Heats Rooms with High Ceiling Areas- In forced air systems, heat goes up.
Easy to Install- installation of pipe goes quickly.
Less Fatigue- standing on warm floors takes less energy from your body.
Drafty Rooms Seem Warmer- much like standing in the sun on a breezy day.