The increased cost of fuel affects everyone so we all need to make our homes more energy efficient. Heating your home is the biggest chunk of your home energy expenses, so youll see the biggest difference in your energy bill if you take some steps to make your heating system more efficient. Here are some suggestions that will make a difference: Annual furnace maintenance: have the burners serviced regularly: oil furnaces should be checked every year, gas furnaces every two years. Oil nozzles need cleaning, gas ports need adjusting. The goal is to make your system run as efficiently as possible so you can get the most heat out of every gallon you buy. Check your furnace filters monthly and change them as needed. These are cheap and easy to replace yet this is often overlooked by homeowners. If you have a forced hot air system, make sure the return vents are not covered or blocked by furniture, carpet or drapes. Allowing good return of cold air to the system increases its efficiency. Consider closing off the rooms you don't use in winter. Close off the heating vents and block drafts under the doors. Check the rooms periodically for signs of moisture problems. While You're Asleep or Away
Fact: It is less expensive to reheat a cooler house than it is to keep a the heat at a higher temperature 24 hours a day. While awake and at home: Lower your thermostat by just a couple degrees. You'll save 3% for each degree lower you set your thermostat. Going from 72 to 70 degrees will save you 6%! You don't have to lower it 'til your lips turn blue to make a difference. While sleeping or out of the house more than 4 hours: Lowering your thermostat by 10 degrees will save you 10%. An electric blanket used 8 hours a day for a month costs just $1.73. It's cheaper to lower your thermostat and heat only your bed. Or if you prefer, use the electric blanket to pre-warm your bed, then turn it off. Programmable thermostats make it easy to change your settings and let you wake up or come home to a warm house. Block Those Drafts
Check your insulation, starting with the attic and basement. Any investment here will last for years and give immediate energy savings. Don't invest in replacement windows until you have first insulated the attic, ceiling and walls. Insulation is cheaper and you'll see bigger savings. Drafts add 5-40% to your space heating costs block them up! Check for drafts on a windy day, use caulk, foam weather strips, rope caulk, foam gaskets behind outlets and light switches, door sweeps, etc. Pay particular attention to drafty windows. Rope caulk made of soft putty is temporary and easily removed in summer. Tack up a sheet of clear plastic over each window, it doesn't have to be shrink-wrapped to make a difference. Plastic drop clothes can be cut to size if you have a lot of windows to cover and held in place with thumbtacks.