If you’re thinking that you might need to replace your furnace this winter, or even if you’re sure your current furnace has several more years of service, it makes sense to find ways to reduce your home’s heating load.
Some homeowners confuse the idea of reducing your heating load, which is the energy it takes to warm your home, with simply lowering the thermostat. That’s certainly one way to save energy, but doesn’t begin to scratch the surface. When energy activists urge homeowners to reduce their heating load, they’re talking about fixing those areas in your home where heat is escaping. When these leaks occur, your furnace has to work extra hard to make up for air leaks, and you ultimately pay more money in heating costs.
Think of reducing your heat load as you would if a passenger in your car insisted on keeping their window open when it’s freezing outside. You may want to turn up the heater to compensate for the cold air, but why should your car exert the extra energy when you can reduce your car’s heat load by simply asking your passenger to close the window?
Windows are an excellent place to start in your home, too, since they can consume up to 25 percent of your heating costs. Check for drafts, and then caulk, apply weatherstripping or install window insulation that includes temporary shrink film.
Next, inspect the insulation in your attic and crawlspace. The U.S. Department of Energy offers a state-by-state insulation help guide. Check the map, and then adjust your insulation levels accordingly.
To further reduce your heating load:
- Check for drafts around electrical switches, outlets and register covers.
- Close the doors to rooms that you rarely occupy.
- Shut your fireplace damper. If you have trouble remembering to close it after time in front of the fire, install glass doors so that you can leave the damper open, and not worry about heat escaping.
- Install fluorescent light bulbs, which produce less heat than incandescent bulbs.
For more information on how you can reduce your home’s heating load, contact the professionals at Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing. We’ve been helping our Indianapolis-area customers with all of their heating, cooling and plumbing needs for more than 40 years, and look forward to helping you, too.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Mowery services the Brownsburg, Indiana and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
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