In South Carolina the temperature has finally dropped and shows no signs of climbing higher any time soon. With temperatures falling into the upper 20s during the evenings, it's time to turn on the heat! While turning on the heat in your home will keep your family comfortable, it can also increase your electric bill.
We've put together our top five tips to help you save money on your electric bill this winter:
1. Consider a programmable thermostat.
Did you know that you could save as much as 10% on your electric bill if you turned your thermostat down by 10-15 degrees for the 8 hours you're at work? A programmable thermostat makes this simple-- just set your thermostat to drop the temperature when you leave for work in the morning and to increase it shortly before you return home. Check out our FAQ section regarding thermostats.
2. Examine your doors and windows.
Between 7-12% of a home's heat loss comes directly from doors and windows allowing heat to escape. Take a walk around your house and see if you notice any drafts. If you do, consider caulking and/or replacing weather-stripping around drafty areas.
Bonus tip: Check your electrical outlets for drafts as well. Many outlets aren't properly insulated; to remedy this, simply fill the small gaps around your outlet with acrylic latex caulk.
3. Prevent heat from escaping your through your chimney.
When your fireplace isn't in use, chances are warm air is escaping from your chimney. There's a really simple way to prevent this-- purchase a chimney balloon. Blow up the balloon and place it in your chimney and you could save up to $100 per year on your electric bill!
4. Have your HVAC unit/furnace inspected.
If you're going to pay to run your HVAC unit/furnace, you should at least make sure it's performing at its peak. Give us a call or use our online form to schedule an inspection. Our highly certified and experienced technicians will examine your home's system and make recommendations on any identified issues.
5. Small things add up to big savings!
There are many small steps you can take to winterize your home that, when combined, can have a big effect on your energy savings:
- Lock your windows-- locked windows are tightly pressed against weather-stripping, preventing heat from escaping.
- Reverse your ceiling fans-- doing this will mix the warm air that gets trapped on your ceiling in with the colder air below
- Vent maintenance-- ensure your vents aren't being blocked by furniture; close vents in any rooms of your home that aren't frequently used.
- Water heater savings -- take your water temperature from the standard high of 140 degrees down to 120.
Following these tips will definitely save you money on your electric bills this winter! Check out our FAQ section for additional information on how to get the most out of your furnace/HVAC unit. As always, please contact us with any questions or to schedule an appointment!