As winter approaches, homes across the Charleston and Mount Pleasant area are turning up their thermostats to stay comfortable. However, higher usage means higher energy bills. With rising utility costs, heating your Charleston-area home can put a strain on your monthly budget.
The good news is that there are many simple and affordable options to help keep your house comfortably heated without overloading your energy bill. As your local HVAC experts and energy savings specialists, we’ve put together this guide to our top tips for saving significantly on your heating bills this winter.
Seal Any Air Leaks and Add Insulation
Air leaks could cost you a bundle of wasted heating energy as warm air escapes outside. Scan doors, windows, outlets, and any gaps around pipes or wiring to check for drafts. Applying caulk, spray foam, weather stripping and other sealants around leaks can dramatically improve your home’s ability to retain heat.
Boosting your attic insulation levels also reduces heat transfer through the ceilings. The Department of Energy recommends upgrading to at least R-38 insulation in Charleston-area homes. This cheap upgrade returns its cost in energy savings in just a few years. We can assess your home’s insulation needs and install high performance materials properly, so they operate at maximum efficiency.
Lower the Thermostat Temperature
Turning back your thermostat can provide significant savings compared to keeping it constantly elevated. Set it lower when no one is home and at night when everyone’s in bed bundled up under cozy blankets. Purchase programmable or smart WiFi-enabled thermostats if you want the temperature automatically adjusted on set schedules without having to remember to change it.
Every degree lower means a 3-5% drop in energy usage. We recommend keeping your home around 68 degrees during peak waking hours when comfort takes priority. At night or when away for hours, anywhere from 60-65 degrees maintains just enough heat to keep pipes in the house from freezing without being too cold under blankets.
Run Ceiling Fans to Distribute Warm Air
Many homes have uneven heating because hot air rises to the ceilings while lower levels remain chilly. This issue can be solved cost-effectively by using your ceiling fans in the winter. Simply set the fan direction to clockwise so air blows down in a column effect that drives warm air to lower parts of the room. Adding a ceiling fan to rooms that lack this air circulation can provide big benefits. Fans also make rooms feel warmer so you can nudge down the thermostat slightly without sacrificing comfort.
Upgrade Old, Inefficient HVAC Equipment
As heating systems get older, excess wear degrades their output so they must work harder pumping out enough heat. All that extra energy usage gets reflected in uncomfortably high-power bills. Swapping heating systems more than 10-12 years old for new energy-efficient models cuts energy consumption dramatically. Updated HVAC systems incorporate the latest tech that optimizes operating efficiency.
Contact our team about replacing aging, inefficient heating equipment with our Lennox Elite Series furnaces, heat pumps and air handlers that offer up to 98.5 AFUE ratings. That’s almost as efficient as possible, lowering your energy output while keeping rooms warmer with less effort. We can determine when upgrading your HVAC system makes better financial sense than prolonging costly upkeep on outdated units. New systems usually pay for themselves within just a few years through their drastically lower energy costs.
Have Your HVAC System Professionally Serviced
Attuning your heating systems to peak operating performance reaps rewards in energy savings season after season. Our licensed technicians provide expert furnace and heat pump maintenance along with duct inspection and cleaning if needed, so your heating system can function efficiently with minimal effort. We provide our services to anyone in Mount Pleasant, SC and Charleston, SC. Neglecting proper HVAC service often results in costly breakdowns or the need for full replacement that could have been avoided through regular upkeep.
Follow our tips above for intelligently managing your home’s warmth to stay comfortably heated while avoiding unpleasant surprises on your next utility bill. Reach out to our team at Charleston Cool Care for professional HVAC maintenance, upgrades or installations designed to save our customers money through energy-efficient operation. Stay cozy and energy smart this season!