With the record high in heating oil prices how do we leave more money in your wallet? Try these simple tips that you can do today to reduce the amount of heating oil you use.
Seal the Drafts
Warm air may be slowly seeping out of your home. These holes can be easily found and expertly plugged with caulking. Some common places to check for draughts and leaks are around doors, window and lighting fixtures.
One easy way to identify where the draughts and leaks are is with the incense test. Light a small stick of incense and hold it up to areas which are susceptible to leaks. The thin stream of smoke will waver and dance if a draught is present. Pay particular attention to areas around windows and doors. The US Department of Energy has identified that reducing drafts can cut down on energy use between 5 and 30%.
To avoid loosing much needed heat can be as simple as using a rolled up blanket or towel. Place a rolled towel at the bottom of a leaky door, called a “draft snake”. The term “draft snake” was coined during the Depression when times were tight. As the decades flew by home owners have been used to relatively inexpensive oil prices and the “draft snake” fell to the wayside. Using a rolled up towel or blanket is helpful or purchase a pre-made one from a specialty store.
Wear a Sweater
It seems clear enough to say that the lower the temperature set on the thermostat the less oil you will use. The Department of Energy identifies that for every degree that the dial is lowered there will be a 1 to 3% savings in the heating bill. These types of savings add up over a year.
Keeping your thermostat at a comfortable 68 degrees isn’t that difficult. Wearing a sweater is one alternative. Dressing in light comfortable layers will reduce the need to hike up the thermostat.
Turn Down the Heat at Night
Turning the thermostat down during the evening should become a nightly ritual. Having a lower temperature while sleeping allows for a better sleep and having a fully heated home while everyone is tucked inside a warm be is not necessary.
If you forget to turn down the heat before turning in, consider purchasing a programmable thermostat. Not only does it make sure the temperature is down at night time it avoids finger pointing as to who was supposed to turn down the heat! With an average saving on energy of $150 per year the $50 investment is worth the money.
Keep the Furnace Maintained
Keeping the furnace in properly maintained condition will help reduce the average heating cost for your home. Keep the vents clean and unobstructed to ensure that they are functioning properly. Annual furnace maintenance may involve adjusting the fuel mixture setting to allow for proper combustion. It may also include regular cleaning of the burner and the blower fan to allow for efficient airflow.
Something as simple as replacing the furnace filter can help make the furnace run more efficiently. A clogged furnace filter will reduce the efficiency of the furnace and will reduce the airflow available to the furnace. Easily purchased from local hardware stores, furnace filters should be checked for replacement frequently.