Cutting Costs In Winter Months

With oil and natural gas prices rocketing, stoking terror of long, cold and expensive winters, a renewed interest in keeping heating costs under control has been sparked–especially now that winter is upon us. Buyers these days now have an ignited passion for understanding energy saving methods.

Saving That Money!

If you’re living in a home with a furnace that’s more than 20 years old, you may have already attempted the “buy a sweater” method of keeping warm. These days, upgrading your home’s conditioning system is a great option that keeps costs low and will appeal to buyers.

More and more, homebuyers are looking for homes with energy-efficient systems already in place. So, think of these upgrades as a long term investment in the resale value of your property, as well as a cost-efficient and green alternative to your current conditioning system.

Now, with that old choker of a furnace huffin’ and puffin’ away, guaranteed it’s not as efficient as it could be, no matter what fuel type it uses. The newer gas furnaces are mid-efficiency (78-82%) or high efficiency (89-96%). Although the higher efficiency products can cost up to $1,000 more than the mid-efficiency products, extra costs will be pay off in a couple of years, as they will burn less fuel.

Take note, it’s still the case that electric heat is more expensive than oil and gas, although a smart combination of central woodstove heat, supplemented by electric heat can be cost-efficient.

Let it Flow: Change Your Filters

Whether disposable or washable, all forced-air heating/cooling systems use filters. These filters need to be maintained and changed. Some filters require monthly changes while others last up to three months, and much depends on the conditions within your home.

A dirty filter will restrict airflow and with clogged filters, you’re blocking the heat that would otherwise be keeping you or your buyer toasty warm. Do yourself a favor and keep on top of the regular changing of your heat filters. This is a pretty easy way to boost your energy efficiency and cut costs.

Pump it up: Install a Heat Pump

Air source heat pumps are the most common and they are generally used with a back-up heating system. In terms of function, a heat pump works by extracting heat from the outside and bringing it in, in heat mode, and by removing heat from the inside of the house and releasing it outside, in cooling mode.

The “king” of heat pumps, though, are ground and water source, or geothermal. While the initial investment may be great, the saving will be substantial in the long run. These pumps will use 25-50% less energy than conventional conditioning systems.

At the end of the day, another simple method to help with soaring heat bills is to keep an eye on the set temperature levels in your house. Of course, only you can decide where to set the dial. But, if you’d rather avoid the “put on a sweater” method of winter energy conservation, you might consider investing in an improved conditioning system that’ll bring you warmth today, and will be a smart investment in the resale value of your home.

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