Winter is in full effect over the U.S. and with that often comes the untimely issue of having your HVAC go out. Whether you need to replace the heating system in your home this winter or you are in the process of building a new home, there are some eco-conscious ways to heat your home that you may not be aware of. Weston Dean Custom Homes, a premier Boerne custom homebuilder
, shares options you have in opting into an eco-friendlier heating system for your home.
Heating and cooling make up 40 percent of residential energy use, so the colder months offer the perfect opportunity to cut back on your fuel consumption. During the winter when your heater is running what seems to be constantly for months on end, a few minor inefficiencies in your homes sealing or heating equipment in your home can add up to a lot of waste and wasted heat, which is also bad for the environment. Below are a few ways you can consider making your heat greener this winter or for winters of the future in your home.
The first eco-friendly heating option is to get your existing HVAC System in tip-top shape. Your heating system will only work as well as the parts that make it up, so if you have clogged filters or dusty burners, the performance of your furnace can be dramatically reduced. If it has been over two to three months since you have changed the air filters in your unit, make it a priority to replace those sooner than later. There are still several months left until spring and warmer temperatures arrive and you will want to depend on a heater that provides all the heat you need, when you need it.
Another benefit to changing out the air filters in your heater every two to three months is that it will improve the efficiency of your heating by 15 percent and will also extend the life of your HVAC, which is worth the time to invest in changing out those filters itself. If you keep your heating system operating at peak performance, you will be surprised how much less energy you use.
Another tip for improving the eco-consciousness of your homes heating system is to look for air leaks and drafts. A leaky duct or drafty window will sabotage your attempts to conserve energy. If all your heat is (literally) going out the window, your heating system will be running full force to keep the heat in your home and therefore use even more energy to do so.
The best thing you can do to prevent this is to re-caulk window seals with silicone sealant and install weather stripping around your windows. This is also a good fall home-maintenance thing to check on each winter, to make sure your window seals and weather stripping is in good condition and ready for winter. Also, be sure to inspect your HVAC unit for damaged parts, which can be counterintuitive to conserving energy. It is also a good idea to invest in an HVAC professional to come out and do an audit on your system, to make sure it has been thoroughly checked.
The third thing you can do to conserve your homes energy this winter, is to turn down your thermostat when you are not home. You can shave 10 percent off your energy costs just by setting your thermostat down seven to ten degrees for at least eight hours per day. If this doesn’t seem like something you will remember or want to do daily before rushing off to work, consider investing in a programmable thermostat like Nest that you can set to turn up and down during the day on its own, as well as mange the settings while you’re out of town. It has quickly become a very popular tool to help homeowners save on their energy bill while being more eco-conscious at the same time.
To follow-up on the thermostat, be sure to not turn it up high at once if you come home to a cold house. It may seem like a good idea to push your thermostat up to 80 degrees to heat your home faster, but it won’t heat your home up any faster and will just waste money and energy.
Lastly, if you have space heaters in your home thinking that they will save you money on your energy bill and be eco-friendlier, you may be doing more harm than good. A standard space heater is fairly energy inefficient, but a ceramic convection heather can achieve much higher energy performance due to its more efficient design. So, if you are going to invest in a space heater be sure to go with a more effective option in the ceramic convention heater.
These simple tips will not only make a huge difference in your homes energy bill, but also make your home much more eco-conscious in how much energy you use each winter.
Weston Dean Homes is a San Antonio area custom home builder. For more information call (210) 408-9107.