Winter Savings: Saving Money in the Winter

winter house

Trying to cut energy cost in your home during the winter months can be a bit of a challenge on your wallet. No one likes to pay high energy bills. Today’s blog will give some simple suggestions to help you make some changes in your energy use so that you can keep more of your hard earned money in your own pocket!

Sunshine                                  

Open your drapes or blinds after the sun has come up to let it naturally warm your room.  Close them as the sun goes down to help insulate the room after dark.

Turn down the thermostat

Did you know that for every degree you lower your heat in the 60 to 70 degree range you save 5% of your heating cost? Turn that thermostat to 68 degrees and start saving!

Clean/Replace those air filters

When your air filter is dirty, air flow is restricted, causing an increase in energy use, which equals higher electric bills. Not to mention the strain that it is placing on your unit when it’s dirty!

Fireplace

When you are not using the fireplace, close the damper. When the damper is open, the heated air from your heating system is being pulled out of your home up through your chimney, causing you to lose up to 8% of  your heating system’s air. Just don’t forget to open it before you light up your fireplace!

Wasted Energy

Turn off all lights in any unoccupied rooms and unplug any appliances that you are not using. That extra refrigerator you have for storing cold drinks can add 10 to 25 percent to your electric bill.

Hot Water

Shorter showers can save hundreds of gallons of hot water for a family of four over a month’s time. Did you know that 2/3 of your water heating costs is from taking showers? By cutting your showers in half you can reduce your water heating costs by 33%. When doing laundry, try to wash mostly in cold water, as this will reduce your washer’s energy use by 75%. Consider wrapping your hot water tank with jacket insulation, and you can see a savings up to 10% on water heating costs.

Computers

Turn your computer off if you aren’t using it.  Even in sleep mode it is still drawing a small amount of electricity.

I hope that you find some of these suggestions helpful in saving you money. As always, be sure to visit www.filtersfast.com for all of your air and water filtration needs.

4 Mistakes Homeowners Don’t Know They’re Making

Catastrophe

Sometimes we forget how much an easily prevented mistake can cost us. For example, when leaving for home for an extended period of time, I make every attempt to make sure all lights are off to prevent running up the power bill. Except this time, I didn’t. Needless to say my next power bill was a lot. It was an easily prevented mistake that costs me a lot of money. That mistake isn’t so different from the 4 mistakes that I’ve listed. So whether you are a new homeowner or not, you’ll want to avoid these easily prevented mistakes.

Mistake 1: Carelessly drilling into Walls

Whenever you hang artwork, shelves, or closet systems into one of the walls in your home, did you stop to think what is behind that wall? Hidden inside the walls of your home are wires, duct-work, plumbing pipes, and cables. You can check for some of these things with a stud sensor, but they don’t detect everything. For protection, only drill 1 ¼ inches deep to clear plaster and drywall but not deep enough to reach most pipes and wires.

Mistake 2: Not knowing the depth of your attic insulation (or where it’s even located)

To locate the attic in your home, find the ceiling hatch (a square area framed with molding in a closet ceiling or hallway). Once you’ve found it, you have also found your attic. Go up into the attic and see how much insulation you have. According to houselogic.com, the recommended insulation for most attics is about 10 to 14 inches deep, depending on the type of insulation you choose.

TIP: If you can see the top of joists (any number of small, parallel beams made of timber, steel, concrete, etc.)), you don’t have enough insulation. Also check to make sure your hatch is insulated too.

Mistake 3: Forgetting about Two of the Most Used Items

Your HVAC system and your refrigerator are two of the most used items in your home, so why do so many of forget to maintenance them?  When performing maintenance for your HVAC, inspect everything from the coil, to the fan motor, and more. Refrigerator maintenance is easy too, follow your manufacturers specific guidelines, but they almost always include vacuuming the fan or condenser coils along the bottom of the fridge, cleaning the door gasket, replacing the filter, and more.

TIP: You can’t properly maintain either of these units without replacing their respective filter. Your fridge filter should be replaced every 6 months while your furnace filter should be replaced every 3 months.

Bonus TIP: Each system can be a little different so consult the maker of your HVAC system to make sure you’re following all recommended guidelines.

Mistake 4: Not Knowing where the main water shutoff valve is located

Water damage is one of the most common of all household insurance claims. In the event a broken pipe spills dozens of gallons into your home, you need to locate the main water shutoff valve. This will be located where a water main enters your house. Make sure everyone living in the house knows where it is located and how to close it.

TIP: Penetrating Oil on the valve stem makes sure it’ll work when the time comes.

Bonus TIP: When going out of town, turn off the water to the washing machine to prevent coming home to a flooded house.

There’s a chance we have all made these mistakes in the past, but today’s a new day. Let’s be more of aware and be “smarter” homeowners.