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10 Ways To Save Money On Your Heating Bills This WinterSaving money on energy bills doesn't mean reshaping your home life, or installing a ton of new technology. There are many simple steps you can take that will make your Rochester, NY home a cozier place to be, while also reducing the heating bills that can skyrocket once the winter weather kicks in.

Energy costs can be a large chunk of a monthly budget, but who needs another lecture about putting on a sweater when it’s cold or changing lightbulbs and shower heads? It is a great and effective way to save energy, but the inconvenience can seem bigger than the reward. So we asked ourselves - what would be the biggest energy saving tips we could give our customers that would make the biggest impact on their budget?
These are the biggest “bang for the buck” tips we give our friends and family to help save money, so you can use those hard-earned dollars on something much more exciting.
  1. Check your vents: The vents for your HVAC system are located around your home- make sure they are dusted and clean, and keep them open to circulate more air through your home.  If you have a forced-air furnace, do NOT close heat registers in unused rooms. Your furnace is designed to heat a specific square footage of space and can't sense a register is closed - it will continue working at the same pace. In addition, the cold air from unheated rooms can escape into the rest of the house, reducing the effectiveness of all your insulating and weatherizing.
  2. Have a regular service performed on your system: You wouldn't drive your car for years without having a regular oil change, would you? So why would you do that to your HVAC system?! A regular service will ensure your system runs efficiently, keeping your energy bills under control once the cold air really kicks in. Your system should run for 10+ years, so making sure that it isn't killing your energy consumption can save you thousands of dollars over its lifespan. This will also help your system last longer, and avoid costly repairs and breakdowns. 
  3. Put your ceiling fans on low speed in a clockwise direction: When it's cold out, you want to keep the warm air that naturally rises down. The fan will pull the cooler air up, and allow the warm air to stay down. Don't have your fans on too high though or it can cause a breeze and just make you feel chillier!
  4. Change your filters regularly: By changing your air filters regularly, you’ll not only reduce dust and allergens circulating through your home, but you’ll help your system run more efficiently, as well as saving money on costly repairs. This could be as much as a 20% savings in your expenses.
  5. Set the temperature of your water heater at 120 degrees: The EPA estimates that water heaters set at 140 degrees or higher waste between $36 and $61 dollars annually in standby losses and up to $400 in bringing fresh water up to temperature. That’s a lot of money! If your water heater breaks, consider a tankless hot water heater that provides hot water on demand. You can get unlimited hot water, which will end your arguments about who gets to shower first in the morning, while also saving money by not keeping a tank of water hot all the time.
  6. Insulation and sealing leaks: Inexpensive expanding foam and caulk can be your best friends. By sealing small cracks where warm or cold air escapes, especially around window and doors, and where your foundation meets the frame of the house, and where pipes enter the house can make a big difference in the passive energy loss in your home. Proper insulation can save up to 20% on your energy bills!
  7. A programmable or a Smart thermostat can be a wise investment: Making sure you’re not wasting energy heating and cooling areas when people aren’t home can lead to big savings very quickly! Estimates are this could reduce bills an average of 10%. A recent study also showed that smart thermostats are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. Good for your bills and the environment! 
  8. Switch to CFC or LED bulbs: New LED bulbs don’t heat up like old bulbs and are now available in soft white, giving pleasant rather than glaring bright light, and are often an improvement over CFC lights which produce a duller light. One of our customers installed LED lights to replace the flood light bulbs in the recessed lighting around their home and noticed a dramatic decrease in their energy bill the following month.
  9. Upgrade appliances and HVAC systems when the time comes: HVAC systems are expensive to replace, but newer systems are so much more efficient than older systems. New systems can be zoned, to provide independent heating and cooling to different areas of your home, allowing you to only heat or cool the areas most in use. In addition, systems like Mitsubishi’s Hyperheat heat pump system can provide heating and cooling that can supplement an existing system to heat and cool sunrooms, additions, basements and bonus rooms that always seem to be too hot or too cold.
  10. Open your curtains and let the sun in: An easy way to get a little more heat into your house is by letting the natural light from the sun in. Opening your shades during the day and allowing sunlight to stream into your home will raise the temperature a few degrees, making it an easier job for your heating system, therefore reducing your energy bills!
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Saving money on your energy bills doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Energy efficiency can make a big difference in your monthly energy bills, without making everyone wear sweaters! Just remember, when you do have to replace an appliance, bulb, or even HVAC system, make sure you make energy efficiency is a priority. Make sure you have good insulation in your home, and keep on top of good air circulation, and your bank account will thank you for years to come!
If you have any questions about your home comfort needs, or how you can become more energy efficient, please give us a call at (585) 641-3080, or email us at! 
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