Every year, as summer turns to fall, we are delighted by the beauty of the changing of the leaves and comforted by the more manageable temperatures outside. We forget that by the time the weather warms up again, many of us will have spent almost 70% of our yearly utility bill in a matter of months. While this is likely not the happy news you were looking for, there is good news; winter affords homeowners in New Jersey the greatest opportunity to SAVE money off of their utility bill by making a few minor changes or completing a few simple projects. In fact, as a company that offers home energy audits in New Jersey, you can rest assured that we are familiar with all of the ways we can help our customers save money on their energy bill throughout the coldest months of the year!
In the summer, preventing sunlight coming in through windows is one of the easiest ways to save money on air conditioning. In the winter, helping sunlight enter your home is one of the easiest ways to save money. By allowing the sunlight to flow into your home (free lighting) you are also allowing all of the heat of that sunlight into your home (free heat). The more free heat you let in your home then the less you will have to pay for by running your heater.
However, while the light that comes through your windows is an excellent source of free heat, any air leak may rob you of those savings. For windows in good condition, try weather-stripping around the edges and locking the windows shut. By locking the windows, you can more effectively press the window against the weather-stripping, further reducing the leaks. For windows in worse condition (ones with bad air leaks), try sealing the windows with a clear film. Most of these treatments can be installed quickly using tools, or household devices (hair dryer) you may already own. Also, since there are less hours of sunlight every day we have to use electric lighting more. Consider changing just a few of your light bulbs to LED, and you should be able to see a difference right away.
For your home’s heater, consider upgrading your thermostat to a programmable model. By turning your thermostat down two degrees, will save, on average, 9% off of your yearly heating bill. Additionally, if you can turn your thermostat down to 60 degrees for 8 hours a day, when you sleep, you can save another 10% off of your heating bill.
Finally, if you are serious about saving money this winter, consider scheduling a season cleaning of your home’s heater with a certified contractor. Similar to a car, heaters will become less efficient over time and routine maintenance becomes more and more important every year. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (www.ACCA.org) offers guides for both technicians and homeowners on what should be expected during your heater’s maintenance appointment.
These are just a handful of tips that will help to save you money on your energy bills throughout the winter. If you’d like to learn more about how you can save money by having an energy audit done in your NJ home, or to schedule maintenance, please reach out to us here at Hutchinson Plumbing Heating Cooling.