As winter begins to bear down upon us here in the Puget Sound area, concerns of rising heating costs come front and center. You’ve dealt with these concerns before, but now there are indications that Puget Sound Energy is petitioning regulators to increase the price of home energy costs by as much as one-percent in the near future.
Fortunately, there are ways to take constructive steps to help contain costs. Still, it is a somewhat daunting undertaking to lower heating bills, and one you need to consider from every conceivable angle.
Possible Solutions for Containing Heating Costs
If you’re looking to save money on your energy costs, consider a few of the following options to help you lower your heating bills.
- Innovative Heating Sources: Look into alternative heat sources, such as radiant heaters and heat pumps. They are not only good for the environment, but can significantly increase home energy efficiency. You’d have to make a sizable investment in your home – up to $20,000 on the high end – in order to enact these changes, however. While there are federal tax credits good for up to 30-percent of your investment for such steps in creating energy efficient homes, this is something you’ll probably want to take a deeper look at before making a decision on.
- Upgrading and Expanding Insulation: This is something that can go a long way when it comes to lowering your heating bills, and is easier to enact. You can begin this process with a thorough inspection of your existing insulation by a professional insulation expert. Your current insulation may need to be replaced with a higher R factor product, but new insulation can save you money by allowing your heating system to not have to work as hard.
- Dealing With Sources of Leaks: Something else you may have considered is having a complete energy audit of your home performed. From it, not only might the question of upgrading and/or replacing your insulation be answered, but you would also be apprised of any leaks found in the structural components of your crawl space, attic, or ductwork that is allowing cold air to find entry into your home.
Simple Steps to Lower Your Heating Bill
While you consider which of the previous options previously mentioned best fit your needs and budget, use the following list of time-tested and proven ways to lower utility bills.
1. Make Sure Doors and Windows are Locked
This might seem too simple, but it works. Have you ever noticed that locking a door or window seems to tighten and seal them more so that just closing them? It’s true. Try it!
2. Make Sure Your Furnace Is Tuned up
Just like your vehicle needs an occasional tune-up, so does your furnace. Once a year, prior to fall and winter, is the best time to make sure it’s in good working order.
3. Make Sure Your Chimney Is Not Blocked
If you have a fireplace, blockage in your chimney can greatly reduce its ability to provide efficient heat. This is another periodic cleaning to schedule on a regular basis that can help you reduce energy costs.
4. Make Sure Weatherstripping Is Sound
Weatherstripping around doors and windows tends to wear out over the course of time. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes in lowering your heating bills when it is replaced and performing as it should.
5. Make Sure any Holes in Walls Are Sealed
Sometimes holes are made in walls – some intentional, some accidentally (and sometimes by pests). It could be for the purpose of running pipe connections, or electrical cabling, but whatever the reason, if they are not caulked and properly sealed they may be allowing cold air to enter your home.
6. Make Sure Your Thermostat Is Upgraded
With the advent of programmable thermostats, energy efficiency can be enhanced by setting it to lower the heat during the day when no one is in the house, or at night when you’re sleeping.
7. Make Sure Sunshine Finds its Way into Your Home
When it’s cold outside, simply opening curtains and allowing the sunshine to seep into your home can help warm rooms with windows. Be sure and trim back any shrubs or plants that might obstruct the sun’s rays.
8. Make Sure Heating Vents Are not Covered
If you have heating vents in your floors or walls, rearrange any furniture that might be obstructing the vents and preventing them from providing a free flow of heated air.
Get the Job Done Right at a Reasonable Cost
Now that you’ve fashioned a plan in your mind for addressing rising energy costs and lowering your heating bills, you need an ally. Clean Crawls has the experience and reputation in the Puget Sound area to help you enact your plan, and is recognized throughout the area for their dependability and expertise.
Since 2001, Clean Crawls has been helping homeowners like you tackle those problem areas in the home that are driving heating costs ever upwards. We will conduct that much-needed energy audit, identifying any problems with faulty insulation and leaks in ducts. We’ll install fresh insulation and seal any leaks – all at a cost that is friendly to your budget. Contact Clean Crawls today for a FREE attic and crawl space audit!