With winter upon us, you may be wondering how you can save money on your heating bill. And fortunately for us, there are some great no cost and low cost ways we can do so! Home improvement expert and “Today’s Homeowner” host, Danny Lipford joined me for an interview recently to discuss how we can save money on our heating bill whether it’s with a simple DIY home improvement project or by replacing your heating and cooling system!
Candace Rose: What are some simple ways we can keep utility bills down this winter?
Danny Lipford: “It’s pretty cool that there are so many ways that you can really drive your heating cost down without spending a penny by just changing a few bad habits. When you don’t have a fire in the fireplace, make sure you close your damper so that they heat doesn’t escape and ride up the chimney.
If you have some large openings like we have here (please see video for details) open the curtains and allow that sun to come in and heat up your room for free, and then at night close those curtains to trap that heat inside your house.
Also, on your thermostat on your heating system, turn it down several degrees. You can even go as low as 66 degrees, put on one of those nice holiday sweaters and you’ll stay comfortable temperature wise, and it’s all comfortable knowing you’re saving a pretty good bit of money.
Another thing a lot of people don’t think about is adjusting the temperature on your water heater down to 120 degrees, that’ll also save you money 24 hours a day.”
Candace Rose: How else can those of us on a budget make our homes energy efficient?
Danny Lipford: “Well, if you have just a few dollars to spend…it’s probably best to spend it on really sealing up the envelope of your home, and that would start with some of the weatherstripping that may be around your windows or doors. If any of that is damaged, replace it. It’s very easy and very inexpensive to do and that’ll keep that cold air from influencing your heating cost inside. While you’re at it, grab the caulking gun and a few tubes of caulk, and you can seal around windows and doors and any perimeter of your home such as a hose bib or a dryer vent- all of that needs to be sealed up. It might not seem like it would really make that much of a difference, but everything we’re talking about can total up to a pretty significant savings.
Your heating system is going to be working overtime during the winter so you’ve got to take care of your heating system, and the best thing you can do is make sure that your furnace filter is changed on a regular basis. It’s pretty easy, all you do is keep a few of the sizes of filters in stock around your house. I would suggest an electric static filter (only $13 or $14) and change it every couple of months. It’s very effective in preventing that dust from going up into your system, which is going to shorten its life expectancy and also make it less efficient.
If you haven’t had a professional heating and cooling contractor come out to your house and do a full servicing of your system within the past year, that needs to be done as well. You want to make sure that it is working efficiently and very safe for your family.”
Candace Rose: Is it true that programmable thermostats can control heat costs?
Danny Lipford: “Without a doubt because it allows you to use the thermostat to adapt your heating system to your lifestyle. If you have a regular work schedule, you can lower the temperature eight or 10 degrees (something along those lines) it’ll save you that money all day long and before you get home, it’ll bump up that temperature for you.
These homeowners in this particular house where we’ve been doing some filming for my television show- they were faced with having to replace their entire system. They did a lot of homework and they decided on the Carrier Infinity system and it really did make a big difference. This particular one starts off with a keypad and the Infinity system is amazing, it takes you through a very easy to use system that you can use to control the humidity in the home, the air control and also the zoning in the house, which is really unique. And of course, Candace, we all love our smartphones and it even gives you the opportunity to see whatever you’re seeing at home on your smartphone and control it. You can turn the temperature up or down, you can check exactly the humidity in your home, even the temperature outside through your smartphone- pretty good idea to be able to control the comfort in your home in this manner.”
Candace Rose: Absolutely! Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Danny Lipford: “Absolutely. You can go to my website at TodaysHomeowner.com, we have all types of information about the Carrier Infinity system, as well as a lot of other tips so you can save a little money during the winter months and spend more on the holidays.”