Preparing Your Entire Building or House for Heating Season
Once you have your heating system checked and ready to go, there are a few other things that you can do throughout your building or home to help keep your energy bills low and your comfort level up.
Start by checking for leaks. Leaks in your plumbing system, particularly at faucets, can cause two of your bills to go up, water and energy. Leaks that go unattended can waste gallons of water. And if the water leaking is hot, you may be paying to heat water you aren’t even using.
Other forms of leaks are air leaks. Check around windows and doors to be sure there is not an excessive amount of air entering or leaving. Cold air seeping into the building or warm air escaping from the building will cause your heating system to have to work harder to bring your temperature up to your set comfort level.
Air also can escape through attics, outer walls, and electrical outlets. You may need to add insulation to try to seal in as much heat as possible. According to the EPA, as much as 20% of home’s heating and cooling bill can be saved by properly insulating and sealing leaks.
Air does need to flow freely, however, in and out of your vents and grills throughout the building. According to the EPA, obstructions in front of these grills and vents can lead to a 25% increase in energy usage. Be sure to remove obstacles such as furniture, drapes, and even books or papers to allow your system to work more efficiently.
For more advice on sealing and insulating your home, check out this Energy Star brochure.