If you felt like you spent too much on heating this past winter, summer is a great time to make improvements to your system that will allow you to reduce your energy costs come winter this year. Here are a few money-saving suggestions to get you going.
#1 Insulate Your Hot Water Heater & Pipes
Many people overlook how much the cold weather can increase their water heater bill. If your water heater and pipes are not insulated, it is going to take a lot more energy on the part of your water heater to heat your water up so that it is warm enough when it gets to you. You, as a result, will have to turn up your water faucet higher in order to get the hot water you desire.
You can reduce your hot water costs in the winter time by wrapping your hot water heater in insulation. Make sure that you leave cut-outs so you can access any controllers, panels and gauges. There are specific hot water heater insulation blankets that you can put around your hot water heater; remember to cover the top of it as well.
Next, wrap up your entire plumbing system with pipe insulation. You can easily purchase pipe insulation that just slips over your pipes and will keep your hot water warm in the winter time.
#2 Check Your Duct Work
Second, you need to have the duct work on your heating system inspected. Over time, small holes can develop in your duct work. When this happens, a lot of energy can be lost out of even small openings. If the hole is small, you can use duct repair tape to seal it up yourself.
However, if there is a long section of damage, you are going to want to have an HVAC contractor come out and replace the damaged duct work for you. If your duct work passes through a really cold area or is located in your basement, you may want to have insulation around your ductwork.
#3 Seal Cracks
Finally, you are going to want to make sure that you seal up any cracks around your home. Start with your windows and make sure that they are well-sealed. You may want to apply caulking or sealant around the outside edge of your windows to cut down on air loss. Then, make sure that air is not coming in around your doors. If you can feel air coming in around your doors, you are going to want to put new weatherstripping on the sides and bottom of your door. Next, make sure that there are no holes coming in around your electrical outlets, cable outlets and other vents in your house. If you find them, seal them up with some caulking.
Taking the three steps above this summer will make your house a little more air-tight, insulated and easier to heat come wintertime. For more information, contact a company like Bill Rhiner's Plumbing, Heating & Cooling.