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5 Ways to Lower the Winter Heating Bill

Posted by Steve DeBusk on Dec 30, 2014

The warmer season is officially over for most of the country, and you might be looking at your heating bill wishing it was lower. Energy bills can get expensive this time of year, but there a few simple solutions that will help keep the heating expenses low. From adjusting the hot water temperature to installing insulating window film, here are five ways to lower your winter heating bill.

Turn Down the Water Heater

Lowering the temperature of the water in your water heater to about 120 degrees can reduce heating costs without a noticeable difference in temperature. On average, for every 10 degrees the temperature is lowered, there is a potential energy savings of between 3 and 5 percent. Once lowered, be sure to check that the temperature of the water from the faucet is between 120 and 130 degrees to avoid bacteria. Also, when you’ll be away for an extended period of time, turn off the water heater completely.

Use Vents & Ceiling Fans Wisely

Vents can help keep your home at a comfortable temperature when used correctly, but when used incorrectly, can be an energy drain. A well-powered heating vent is able to circulate a considerable amount of hot air in approximately one hour. Once it has heated the space, close the vent. If there are rooms in the home that are not being used at the time, keep the vents closed in those rooms as well. Another good tool to use is the ceiling fan. Some fans come with directions for usage in both summer and winter. Typically, if a fan rotates counterclockwise in summer, pushing cool air downward, switching the rotation to clockwise in winter to push air upward allows for the warm air to be circulated throughout the house.

Insulate Water Heater & Pipes

If the water heater in your home is located somewhere cool, such as the garage, and does not already have a built-in insulator, consider purchasing an insulated water heater jacket. Consider doing the same for pipes. If the pipes are running through non-insulated areas, first consult a manufacturer and with approval, wrap them in heat tape that contains a thermostat, foam or fiberglass. This will help to control the temperature and reduce heat loss.

Seal the Air Leaks

Areas that allow for the entrance of cool air in the winter drive up energy costs each month. Luckily, identifying and solving those leak problems is simple and could result in monthly savings. For example, the most common air leak problem occurs through the doorframe. To fix this leak, add weather stripping, or remove the casing and add a foam sealant between the frame of the door and the frame of the house. Look for other leaks in common areas such as window frames.

Install Solar Window Film

Imagine increasing energy savings each month just by installing insulating window film or energy saving film into your home. With the typical window, there is nothing that can prevent the heat from escaping through the glass. By applying the virtually invisible residential solar window film, the window’s insulating properties can improve up to 92% – helping to trap heat indoors. By keeping more heat in during the winter, furnaces will need to be run less often and energy costs can be reduced.

Vista™ insulating window film is a premium quality long-term investment and can help save you money over time. Find out how much you could save with the energy savings calculator.

Steve DeBusk is global energy solutions manager for the window film division of Eastman Chemical Company. Steve has 30 years of experience in energy efficiency. He is a Certified Energy Manager, a Certified Measurement and Verification Professional, and a Certified Sustainable Development Professional. Follow Steve on Twitter @greenbldgs.

InSightful Solutions

Our LLumar Window Film blog is your resource for smart solutions to enhance the look and performance of glass in your life; auto, home and commercial. From UV protection, glare reduction, and temperature control to energy savings, safety, looking good, and interior decorating; our team provides you with practical tips and advice to improve your quality of life.

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