- Energy Efficiency
- Heat Pumps
- Indoor Air Quality
Energy saving tips for fall and winter. In St. Louis, we need our HVAC system to be at its best year-round. The chilly months often witness a spike in energy bills as heaters run longer and lights stay on earlier in the evening. Moreover, if a home isn’t optimized for energy efficiency, a significant amount of this energy – and money – can go to waste. By adopting a few strategic habits and making minor home improvements, St. Louis homeowners can experience substantial cost savings and extend the life of their heating equipment.
SmartHouse Heating & Cooling is full-service HVAC company in St. Louis that offers professional heating services, honest advice, and the highest-quality craftsmanship. If you need heating maintenance, repair, or installation in St. Louis, call SmartHouse today at 314-370-1816, text us at 314-310-2242, or contact us online.
One of the most effective strategies for energy efficiency in cold weather is ensuring your home is insulated and sealed correctly. Insulation retains warm air and keeps cold drafts at bay. The most significant heat loss often occurs in attics and basements. By insulating these areas properly, you can substantially reduce energy wastage.
Apart from insulation, it’s crucial to ensure there are no gaps or cracks that allow cold air to seep in. Caulking and weatherstripping are excellent solutions for doors and windows that are acting as potential draft sources as they allow your home to retain more heat.
HVAC maintenance is likely the most important thing to consistently do for a home’s heating system, and should be performed once every year before or during the heating season. During your maintenance appointment, a professional HVAC technician will:
Regular maintenance ensures your heating system runs at peak efficiency. It can catch potential issues before they become significant problems, saving you from unexpected repair costs. Moreover, a well-maintained system has a longer lifespan, ensuring you get the most out of your investment.
Windows are often overlooked, but they play a critical role in a home’s energy efficiency. Single-glazed windows can be a major source of heat loss, especially in older homes. Double-glazed windows have two layers of glass with a gap in between, usually filled with an inert gas. This design significantly reduces heat transfer, ensuring your home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. You’ll find your heating system doesn’t need to work as hard, leading to reduced energy bills.
A simple yet effective tip that often goes unnoticed is adjusting your water heater’s temperature. Most heaters are set at a default of 140°F, but do you really need it that hot? By lowering the temperature of your water heater to around 120°F, you achieve a comfortable water temperature while preventing the risk of scalding. Plus, for every 10 degrees you reduce the temperature, you can save between 3-5% in energy costs.
Smart thermostats allow you to set your preferred temperature schedules and adjust your heat from afar. Heading out for the day? Your thermostat can lower the heat. Coming home soon? It’ll warm things up just in time for your arrival.
By ensuring your home’s heating aligns with your daily routine, a smart thermostat prevents unnecessary energy consumption. Ecobee estimates that their smart thermostats can save up to 26% on annual heating and cooling costs when compared to holding the temperature at 72°.
Turning on the fan for more heat might seem counterintuitive, but fans simply circulate air and don’t create or remove heat. Warm air rises. By reversing your ceiling fan’s direction to clockwise during the colder months (it should be counterclockwise in warmer months), you push the warm air that’s risen to the ceiling back down into the room. This helps distribute warmth more evenly and reduces the need for excessive heating.
Few things beat the feeling of a warm fire on a chilly night. However, if not used properly, fireplaces can be a significant source of heat loss in your home. An open damper or an unsealed fireplace can let warm air escape as quickly as opening a window. Ensure the damper is closed when the fireplace isn’t in use.
Installing tempered glass doors on your fireplace can help keep warm air in and cold air out. Additionally, consider a direct vent fireplace, which pulls in cool air and sends out warm air, enhancing the heating efficiency of your fireplace.
Mother Nature has her own heater – the sun. Even during colder months, sunlight can play a pivotal role in warming up your home. By simply opening the curtains of your sunlight-facing windows during the day, you allow sunlight to naturally heat your living spaces (for free!). As the sun goes down, retain that captured heat by closing your curtains.
If you don’t invest in a smart thermostat, turning down the thermostat can still be a game-changer for energy savings. Consider lowering your thermostat by 7-10 degrees for 8 hours a day (perhaps while you’re at work or asleep). This simple adjustment can save up to 10% a year on heating.
Also, embrace the season! If you’re still uncomfortable, put on a cozy sweater or wrap yourself in a blanket. Often, a slight decrease in room temperature is hardly noticeable when you’re dressed a bit warmer, and the energy savings are well worth it.
LED bulbs use at least 75% less energy than their incandescent counterparts, offering the same brightness and lasting up to 25 times longer. The upfront cost of LEDs might be higher, but the long-term savings from reduced energy bills will soon offset the initial expense.
When decking the halls for holidays, opt for LED holiday lights as well.
Your HVAC system works tirelessly to keep your home comfortable. But if it’s outdated, it might be working harder than necessary. An older HVAC system can drain energy and hike up your bills. Modern systems are designed with energy efficiency in mind, ensuring optimal performance with minimal wastage. While upgrading might seem like a hefty expense, the energy savings in the subsequent years will make it worthwhile. Plus, variable capacity systems offer better air quality and more consistent heating, ensuring a cozier home environment.
When considering an upgrade, aim for systems with the ENERGY STAR label. These are tested for energy efficiency and can significantly reduce your carbon footprint. Your SmartHouse consultant can help you look over your options and choose the best heating system for your home.
Remember, every little change you can make can contribute to significant energy savings over time, often within the same season. If you’re ever in doubt or need expert advice on your home’s heating solutions in St. Louis, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at SmartHouse. We’re always here to help. Speak to a consultant today at 314-370-1816, text us at 314-310-2242, or schedule an appointment online.