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7 Tips to Cut Heating Costs this Winter

Staying energy efficient this winter is as simple or complex as you make it.  Start “going green” (and saving money!) by making a few quick and easy changes around your home.

1.  Close your fireplace damper.

Did you remember to close it the last time you used the fireplace? Shut it now or lose precious air all winter long!

2.  Replace your furnace or heat pump air filter.

Most systems need this done every month to ensure safe and efficient operation.  A clogged filter makes your blower work harder and therefore it demands more energy.

3.  Have your heating system cleaned and tuned.

A pre-season tune up is a great investment.  It reduces the chances of breakdowns on cold winter nights, improves safety, and more than pays for itself when your system is running at peak efficiency.  FLAME Heating, Cooling, and Electrical also performs a carbon monoxide test on each tune up.

4.  Have your duct system tested for leaks.

The U.S. Department of Energy states that the typical duct system loses 25 to 40 percent of the energy put out by the central furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner.  Authorities recommend having a contractor test for leaks and then seal them with a brushed-on fiber-reinforced sealant.  Duct tape usually dries out and fails.  It turns out duct tape is great for many things, but sealing duct work isn’t one of them!

5.  Have FLAME’s E3 service perform an infiltrometer “blower door” test.

The blower door is a computerized instrument originally invented by the U.S. Department of Energy.  It pinpoints where your home’s worst air leaks are, such as duct leaks, and also measures how leaky the overall house is.  Most homes have the equivalent of an open window in combined air leaks, would you heat your home all winter with a window open?

6.  Install a programmable set-back thermostat.

Turn down your thermostat 8 degrees for 8 hours a day and you’ll say 8 percent on home heating costs.  Installing a programmable thermostat will allow you to automatically turn the heat back up before you wake up and before you come home.

7.  Consider replacing your old furnace or heat pump.

Just like a car your heating and cooling system doesn’t last forever.  If your system is more than 12 years old it is most likely wasting 35 cents out of every dollar you spend on fuel.  A new system is safer, provides more comfort, and creates less air pollution.

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