Winter is getting close in the TriCities
Winter heating season is fast approaching Kennewick and the surrounding Tri-Cities area. Since climate control accounts for nearly half of a typical home’s energy consumption, here are a few tips to help you reduce your heating costs this winter.
Insulation remains one of the best ways to reduce your home’s energy consumption. Knowing where to insulate and how much insulation to add can really maximize your savings and reduce your need for heat. Insulation can be added to walls, floors and attics to reduce heat loss in the winter. It’s important to install insulation correctly to ensure that it traps heat without retaining moisture. Trapped moisture can cause damage to your home and significantly reduces a material’s insulating properties. If you’ve never installed insulation before, or you don’t know what kind of insulation will work best for your space, consult a professional!
Two more notes on insulation: insulation ages! As it gets older, it compresses and loses its ability to trap heat. Insulation in attics and crawlspaces can also get contaminated by rodent visitors or residents. Exposure to contaminated insulation can make you sick. These are two really good reasons to consider having your insulation installed or replaced by properly equipped professionals.
If you have a ducted heating and cooling system, you could be losing as much as 30% of your energy through your ducts. Insulate your ductwork to help reduce these losses. You could also consider installing a ductless heating and cooling system. They’re highly efficient and eliminate duct losses altogether.
Windows and doors turn out to be the biggest sources of air leaks in a home. Combined, older windows and doors can leak as much air as a window left open year round. Reframing your windows, adding insulation and sealing air leaks around windows and doors can significantly reduce the exchange of air between your home and the great outdoors. Your home will retain the air you spent money to heat, and you won’t have to heat the cold, dry air from the outside that sneaks into your home.
A Fuse heating and cooling professional can tell you whether your heating system is properly sized for your home. A heating system that’s too big wastes energy. A heating system that’s too small works too hard, often without getting the job done. It’s especially important to have the size of your system evaluated if you’ve built an addition or finished an attic or basement in your home. Also, if your heating system is older, chances are good that you’ll save money with a new high-efficiency unit.
You can really save money by using a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat sets the temperature in your home back, or turns your heating or cooling system on when you need it. You don’t have to remember to dial back your thermostat, or wake up to a cold house! Programmable thermostats can save as much as 10% per year on heating and cooling costs by eliminating wasteful use.