The sudden dip in temperature between fall and winter can leave many scrambling to find the right heating solution that is both cost-efficient and adequate for their heating needs. There are options, from firewood to a furnace to space heaters, but each requires an understanding of the pros and cons of each.
The average American home spends about 2.7% of their income on energy bills, which amounts to roughly $2,000 per year. Heating and air conditioning make up 43% of your monthly utility bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. While many of these costs are unavoidable, there are still tips that can help you reduce that energy cost.
- 25% of your home’s heat is lost through small cracks and holes. A caulk tool may help immensely to seal those up.
- When someone improperly installs your heating or air conditioning equipment, the efficiency of your systems can be reduced by as much as 30%.
With winter coming, the most important aspect of your home’s energy output will be the furnace. Furnaces have a AFUE rating. AFUE stands for Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency and is a rating about how well your furnace converts fuel into heat for your home.
The minimum AFUE rating for furnaces being sold today is 80% but some high-efficiency furnaces can run as high as 90% to 95%. They may cost more upfront but save you money in the long run.
And there are some important points to look at when considering replacing your furnace:
- Is it 12-15 years old?
- Does it require frequent repairs or not supply the home with enough warmth?
- Does it consume large amounts of energy or emit unusual noises?
These things are all important to consider when winterizing your home. A strong, efficient furnace is necessary and not just for the purpose of saving money; a furnace that suddenly dies can cause stress for you and your family.
There is an important element to the conditions in your home during cooling season: the dehumidifier. Dehumidifiers (used during cooling season) can help reduce the moisture in the air within the home, with cooling season being associated with worsened indoor air quality and health problems.
Dehumidifiers (used during cooling season) can maintain a comfortable indoor air quality within your home. Issues with indoor air quality during the cooling season can affect someone with asthma or allergies.
Dehumidifiers (used during cooling season) can have the benefit of protecting your furniture, which reduces long-term costs, and alleviating possible sources of health issues.
When preparing for winter, it is important to think about your heating system and find a way to reduce costs while maintaining an adequate amount of heat for you and your family. Home heating systems and heating services are worth checking out if you believe you have a faulty furnace or just want one that is more efficient and can reduce costs.