Tips for Homeowners: Heating and insulation

6 mins read

It is more important than ever to conserve energy. Using less energy saves money as well as our environment. We hope you find some of these heating and insulation tips helpful. Mountain Valley Property is available to help implement these suggestions at your Sugarloaf home. Give us a call & start saving! You can call Mountain Valley Property at (207)235-2560 or visit them online here.

 Some free tips to help save you money

Turn down the thermostat – Turning down the thermostat by 1 degree F, can save 25-30 gallons of heating oil per year. That’s up to 3% of an average homes yearly consumption, or between $105-$128 per year at the current average rate of heating oil.

A common myth that turning the thermostat down makes you burn more heating oil in warming up the house again. With your thermostat set to 55 degrees when the house is unoccupied, it takes about 1 hour to heat the average house to a desired temperature. When at home during the day, setting your thermostat to 68 degrees is a comfortable maximum temperature. At night when you are sleeping, around 60 degrees should be comfortable.

Adjust window treatments – During the day, let sunlight in by opening curtains, blinds and shades on windows facing the sun to keep your home warm and reduce heating needs. At night or when the sky is overcast, keep drapes and curtains closed to keep warmth indoors.

Short showers save energy – Consider taking a slightly shorter shower. Heating water for a lengthy one burns oil and costs money.

Some low cost tips to help save you money

Seal leaks – Seal any leaks in your heating or cooling system ducts. Also fix leaks in water/steam heat pipes. Savings: 5-25 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Caulking and weatherstripping – By caulking and weather-stripping, you can cut your heating bills up to 10 percent. Weather-strip doors and windows, and caulk air leaks around windows, door frames, pipes and ducts.

Insulate windows – Use clear plastic sheets to insulate windows during the heating season. Savings: 2-7 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Seal off receptacles – Seal off electric receptacles and switch boxes with foam gaskets or fiberglass insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Insulate pipes – Insulate hot water pipes that provide heat to the rooms in your home. This will reduce heat loss in un-insulated areas and will help your heating system work more efficiently.

Clean boilers and furnaces – Make sure the boiler or furnace is cleaned and serviced for optimum efficiency. Cleaning also substantially extends the life of your heating system while ensuring that it’s operating safely. Plus it can save you up to 10 percent on fuel costs.

Some good investments you can make to save money

Thermal windows – Install storm or thermal (replacement) windows. These tightly fitting windows give the benefit of double-pane glass. Air trapped between the two panes acts as a thermal insulator, keeping your heated air inside where it belongs. Be sure to get windows that have the new super-efficient low-emissivity glazing.

Storm doors – Install storm doors to prevent warm air from escaping to the outside. Also remove window air conditioners in the winter. If not possible, use an insulated cover. This tip could save you up to 15 percent on your heating costs.

Repair holes – Repair any holes in your roof, walls, doors, ceilings, windows and floors. Savings: Up to 10 percent of heating/cooling costs.

Insulate – Insulate attic access and basement trap doors with R-19 insulation. Savings: 1-3 percent of heating/cooling costs. You can cut your heating costs up to 25 percent simply by installing proper ceiling insulation to at least R-30 standards. Insulate walls, floors and heating ducts, too. This insulation will not only keep heat from escaping, but will also make your home more comfortable.

Programmable thermostats – Did you know that properly using a programmable thermostat in your home is one of the easiest ways you can save energy, money, and help fight global warming? A programmable thermostat helps make it easy for you to save by offering four pre-programmed settings to regulate your home’s temperature in both summer and winter – when you are asleep or away.

The average household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills – nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. Homeowners can save about $180 a year by properly setting their programmable thermostats and maintaining those settings.

Learn more about programmable thermostats here.

This column features advice, courtesy of Mountain Valley Property Inc., which can help homeowners save money in tough economic times.

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