Winters in northern Michigan can be brutally cold, and energy bills can skyrocket the moment the furnace kicks in. However, you can use these seven tips to lower your home’s energy use without sacrificing comfort when the thermometer starts to fall.
- Insulate your water heater to slow standby losses that occur when the heat from the water inside the tank radiates out. Home improvement centers stock these jackets or blankets, and they’re easy to install on electric water heaters. They can be used on gas heaters as well, but care needs to be taken to never cover any vents, since these heaters need proper ventilation for safe operation. A plumber can do it for you safely. Once the jacket is on the tank, turn the temperature down to 120 degrees to keep the wiring for all water heaters cooler.
- Add insulation to the attic if it’s less than 16 inches thick, the amount the Department of Energy recommends for our region. Besides keeping your home warmer, it will also be quieter. Insulation is an affordable, durable way to decrease your energy bills.
- Fill your dishwasher completely before running a load. Avoid the temptation to put pots, pans or large bowls in it, which reduces the amount of dishes you can wash at one time.
- Wash your clothes in cold water. Most detergents work just as well in cold water as they do in hot.
- Consider a programmable thermostat to manage heating your home. It’s easy to forget to change the setting when you leave your home or retire at night. A programmable thermostat remembers for you.
- If your home has forced-air heating, check the air filter for the blower monthly and change it when dirt collects on the filter. Not only does this save energy, it also prolongs the life of your equipment.
- Have your heating system professionally cleaned and adjusted annually.
If you’d like more information about lowering energy bills through HVAC maintenance and water heating, contact Team Bobs Heating Cooling Plumbing. We’ve provided HVAC services in the Grand Traverse County region for more than 30 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Traverse City, Michigan and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about energy bills and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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