Summer is coming to an end, and cold weather is not too far behind. So now’s a great time to start thinking about ways to save money and energy this fall and winter.
At Tragar Home Services, your Long Island green energy company, we know the best and most cost-efficient way for homeowners to save money and energy in the long run is installing new ENERGY STAR heating equipment because up to 30 percent less oil will be used and utility bills will be lowered substantially.
However, if that’s too cost-prohibitive at the moment, there are some great tips for keeping warm for less this year that can still be both financially and environmentally friendly:
• Consider replacing a burner in an oil system that’s older than 10 years with a retention-head burner since that’s significantly less expensive than replacing the entire system and can increase a boiler’s efficiency by 15 percent.
• Insulate hot water tanks, lower water temperature to 120°F, install low-flow showerheads and water-flow restrictors in faucets, and use cold water for laundry and dishes to lower energy costs, since heating water represents up to 20 percent of total home energy costs.
• Install energy-saving devices, such as programmable thermostats and energy monitors, to heat (and cool) the home for better control over energy usage and utility costs.
• Set the thermostat at 68 degrees when home and lower the temperature while sleeping or away from home because for every degree the thermostat is lowered, at least one percent in efficiency will be saved.
• Schedule an annual tune-up and service for heating systems to ensure maximum performance of every drop of heating oil and every watt used to generate heat and electricity, as well as reduce energy costs by 10 percent.
• Replace furnace filter(s) once a month or as needed.
• Close the fireplace damper when not in use.
• Clean the flue vent regularly and clean the inside of the wood- and pellet-burning heaters with a wire brush periodically to ensure efficient heating.
• Caulk and weather-strip all doors and windows and lock windows to make them draft-resistant.
• Make sure ducts are properly sealed.
• Insulate – or increase the amount of insulation in/on – your attic, basement and outside walls, as well as your pipes and water heater.
• Remove window air conditioning units and cover through-the-wall ACs to prevent cold air from leaking into the home.
• Install storm windows and doors, and guard against drafts underneath exterior doors with door sweeps.
• Keep shades and curtains open during the day on the south side of the house to allow solar heating and close them at night to retain heat.
• Don’t block radiators, baseboard heaters or heating vents with furniture or draperies, and keep them dirt- and dust-free.
• Close vents and doors in unused rooms.
• Place a sheet of aluminum foil between radiators and walls to reflect heat back into the room.
• Switch ceiling fans to rotate clockwise in winter to help distribute heat, and turn off when not in the room.
• Seal around plumbing entrances under sinks and vanities and around bathtubs and showers.
• Place foam gaskets under electrical outlet covers to cut air infiltration.
• Turn off all appliances and equipment when not in use, such as lights, TVs, computers and other electronics.
• Use energy-efficient fluorescent bulbs inside and energy-saving LED lights for indoor/outdoor holiday decorating.
• Use kitchen/bathroom exhaust fans sparingly, and shut off when done.
In addition, contact Tragar today for an annual inspection and cleaning for oil and gas heating systems, as all as a home energy audit. Our green energy experts can answer any questions, and even discuss the installation of new heating equipment, oil-to-gas conversion, bioheat, radiant heating, heat pumps and hot water heaters. Be sure to inquire about our no-obligation, free estimate for heating, hot water and air conditioning equipment upgrades.