Saturday, 29 October 2011

Four Ways to Reduce Home Heating

Four Ways to Reduce Home Heating Bills During the Fall and Winter 

By Samantha Walton

There are a number of simple yet effective ways to save energy and money when it comes to heating your home. Continue reading to learn four ways to reduce home heating bills during the fall and winter months.
1. Ensure Sufficient Insulation
Installing insulation is one of the best ways to reduce heating bills, because it works to protect your home's interior heated air. How? Insulation limits heat transfer through a home's ceiling, attic, walls, floors, basement, and crawl space. A home that is sufficiently and properly insulated will experience far less heat loss than an uninstalled home, resulting in significantly lower home heating bills.
The recommended insulation R-value ranges from R30 to R60 for an uninsulated attic and R19 to R30 for floors. Speak with a certified NC insulation contractor about your home's insulation needs. Remember that different homes and climates require varying R-values and types of insulation (e.g. spray foam, rigid foam, blown foam, fiberglass). But in general, when it comes to insulation, more is better!
2. Seal Cracks Along Windows and Doors
Many homeowners assume that having sufficient insulation will solve all air leakage problems in their home. Wrong! Even a home with the best insulation will incur hefty heating bills if the cracks along windows and doors are not properly sealed. In an unsealed home, your costly heated air will leak outside through cracks, while frigid outdoor air seeps into the space. This results in massive home heating bills and an uncomfortable, cold house.
If your home often feels "drafty," contact a certified air sealing contractor as soon as possible! Doing so will drastically reduce home heating bills during the fall and winter months and make your home feel much cozier and comfortable during the winter.
3. Repair Leaking or Clogged Air Ducts
When it comes to costly home heating bills, leaking or clogged air ducts are often the culprit. If your home has a forced-air heating system, it uses air ducts to transport the heated or cooled air throughout the home. If, however, the air ducts are clogged with debris or are poorly connected, you're wasting a lot of energy and money. In fact, clogged or leaking air ducts can cause up to 35% of a home's heated air before it even reaches the air vents. This means you're paying a lot of money for heated air that you aren't able to enjoy.
4. Install an Energy-Efficient Furnace
Similar to the relationship between insulation and air sealing, an inefficient furnace will continue to wreak havoc on home heating bills even if your ducts are in a row. Such interlocking systems perfectly illustrate that a home is a cohesive unit -- each part dependent upon another to reach maximum energy-efficiency.
If your furnace is more than 10 or 15 years old and/or has a low AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) rating below 85%, it's definitely time for an upgrade. You'll notice an immediate difference both in your heating bills and in your home's air quality. To ensure maximum efficiency and savings, though, remember that your home's air ducts must be working properly!
To increase comfort in your home, use less energy, help the environment, and reduce home heating bills, contact a certified home heating contractor today

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