Winter Heating | Are You Ready For A Heating Cost Increase?
“Over the last week of 2017 and the first week of 2018, a cold wave gripped the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada, with temperatures over 18ºF (10ºC) colder than is typical at this time of year over this area, setting records at many sites. The chance of a cold wave anywhere in North America is much larger than in this specific location. We do not find any evidence for an intensification of these types of cold waves due to the Arctic warming faster than the midlatitudes,” this is according to the World Weather Attribution.
Winter is now in full blast and based on the earlier weather forecast, it is indeed one of the coldest winter seasons in the country. With coder nights looming around, will this equate to an increase in the heating cost?
Increasing the Heater by One Degree: How Much Does it Cost?
Often times, in attempts to stay warm, we consider our options for staying comfortable while saving energy. Which is more convenient: putting on more layers of clothes or turning up the heating one degree higher?
A 3% increase in the energy bill doesn’t sound so bad all, however, there are many factors that may affect this percentage. One thing worth mentioning is the furnace quality. Efficient furnaces are more cost-effective and can help in lowering the energy consumption.
Smart Ways to Cut Heating Costs
Next time you think of bumping up the thermostat a few degrees, consider the other longer-term fixes you might be able to easily implement. These will allow you to keep your home warmer, without having to increase the thermostat.
#1 Replace Worn Weatherstripping
Weatherstripping is the process of sealing openings such as doors, windows, and other possible openings in a structure or building. Worn and torn weatherstripping around doors and windows can give way for cold air to pass through cracks and gaps. Undetected openings can significantly increase energy consumption as you may have to turn up the temperature to stay warm.
#2 Cover Holes in Exterior Walls
Pipes, gas lines, and electrical cables that enter your house often have gaps around them that can potentially allow cold air to pass through. Some of these holes are covered with some kind of caulking but over time the caulk eventually cracks, peels, and falls off. These gasps are also potential entryway for mice and insects. One solution is to seal the gaps with expanding foam.
#3 Insulating the Attic Access Door
Some attic access doors may not be properly insulated even in well-insulated attics, thus letting warm air pass through the attic hatch. And if the door won’t lie flat due to an obstruction, the heated air will leak into the attic. By using an adhesive to attach the fiberglass batt insulation to the attic side of the door, you can effectively block leaks.
- Tune up the furnace
- Upgrade the thermostat
- Keep heating vents clear