Never too early to start planning for winter heating season (Part 1 of 2: Residential Tips)

With so many of us suffering through the record-setting heat, it seems strange to be talking about the upcoming heating season. As colder temperatures’ will soon come our way, now is the time to plan for the winter heating season.

Those of us who are H20 Pros in the commercial/industrial side of the business need to think about stocking parts inventory and/or specifying what equipment we’ll need for the winter months. Those who have residential customers or have our own homes need to think about winterizing our domiciles.

With that in mind, I though I’d share in this blog some tips I’ve learned over the years for winterizing homes and next week I’ll share some guidelines for commercial properties. As always, I’d love your feedback and will add any input I get to next week’s blog.

So how can we help homeowners take control of winter heating costs? First, grab that low-hanging fruit that can lead to skyrocketing winter heating costs, such as:

  • Know the Facts: The average family spends $1,400 a year on energy bills, with nearly half of that spent on heating and cooling. Energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment, sized and installed correctly, with properly sealed ducts, can save homeowners as much as 20% on their annual energy costs.
  • Professional Check-ups: Be sure you have a professional heating tune-up that includes: Inspection of the overall safety of heating system, thermostat calibration, inspection and cleaning of the air handler/blower, filter inspection and cleaning, inspection of wiring and connections, identification of hot and cold spots in the home, and gauging electrical systems for proper amp draw.
  • Turn down thermostat setting: 68 degrees is recommended for winter months. Set your thermostat carefully, and lower the temperature to 65 degrees at night if you have a heat pump. The rule of thumb is that you can save about 3% on your heating bill for every degree that you set back your thermostat
  • Turn down the water heater: Lowering the temperature of water in the water heater to 115-120 degrees reduces power use often without a noticeable difference to the user.
  • Consider a Heat Pump: Although a Heat Pump cannot produce air as hot as your gas furnace, when you combine a Heat Pump with your gas furnace you have a system that is much more efficient and still able to deliver the warmth we all love.
  • Clogged filters and restricted airflow: Anything that restricts airflow will reduce efficiency and increase your heating costs. Change your air filter monthly during the winter or any time you cannot see much light through it.
  • Heating system duct leaks: If your air distribution ducts have major leaks in the attic or crawlspace, your heating costs can double.
  • New Equipment: If equipment needs replacement, now is a great time to get it done because your professional installer may be willing to negotiate a better price for product and installation. Additionally, local, state and federal tax credits and rebates can assist in the purchase of an energy saving product.

These are just a few of the hot energy saving tips that a homeowner can take advantage of in the heat of the summer to prepare for a cold winter.

Links to some additional tips and money saving ideas:

Next week we’ll discuss how to prepare your commercial property for the coming winter.