As any Michigander knows, once the leaves start to fall, it’s time to prepare the furnace for the cold months ahead. Heating and cooling a house can be pricey. In fact, heating a home can cost anywhere from $100 to $300 a month depending on the heating method and size of residence.

Efficiently heat your home this season by following these simple tips.  

Do

  • Plug up windows: No one likes a drafty home. Installing plastic window film can be an affordable, viable option. Plugging up holes by using caulk and weather stripping can also be a cost-effective way to keep heat inside your home and cold air where it belongs…outside.
  • Seal heating and cooling ducts: Heating and cooling ducts lose about 20 percent of the air which moves through the system due to holes and leaks. By checking to make sure that your ducts are secure, you are making your HVAC system more efficient, wasting less of the heat you need to stay cozy!
  • Turn heat down at night: Turning down your heat at night or while you’re away can also save energy. Turning your thermostat down by 10 or 15 degrees for at least eight hours a day can save 10% a year on your heating bills.
  • Install a programable thermostat: According to Energy Star, using a programmable thermostat with pre-programmed settings can save you $180 every year. Programming your thermostat to turn itself down during the typical times you’re away or asleep can leave little room for you to forget to do it yourself! It’s easier and more convenient for you and your wallet.

Don’t

  • Close air vents: Many people think that by closing air vents in unoccupied rooms, they are saving money and energy by efficiently heating the rest of the house. Yet, closing vents leads to pressure imbalance in the room. Because of this, your furnace will run longer to compensate for the lost heat energy and thus cause your heating costs to rise. Closing vents can also lead to furnace damage, since you aren’t allowing the air to flow properly between the furnace and home.
  • Rely on space heaters: You can use space heaters sparingly, but space heaters account for a third of house heating fires during the colder months making them a dangerous fire hazard. When using a space heater, always remember to unplug it once you leave a room, never plug it into an extension cord and never use one while falling asleep.

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