heating bill
November 19, 2016

6 Ways to Lower Your Heating Bills This Fall

heating bill

The fall and winter seasons bring highly anticipated holidays, coveted pumpkin spice blends, and a festive atmosphere. Unfortunately, they also bring falling temperatures and rising heating bills. Prepare your Charlottesville home for the chilly weather ahead and minimize your heating bill this season with a few smart tips and tricks.

Insulate and Seal Your Home

Cold air can creep in through poorly sealed or insulated ceilings and walls around the home. Do some detective work to find the worst culprits. Investigate the caulk around any pipes or cables that pass through exterior walls. This caulk will crack over time and requires regular touch-ups to stay in prime condition. Lay batt insulation in the attic for a quick fix. Add blow-in insulation to exterior walls that need some extra protection from the cold.

Check your windows and doors for cracks around the trim. Seal these with caulk to keep air out. Add weatherstripping around any movable parts and install a door sweep to the bottom of your door. If you installed weatherstripping previously, check for cracks or damage and replace as needed.

Schedule Fall Maintenance Tasks

A well-maintained home will operate more affordably and efficiently during winter. You should schedule heater maintenance once a year to keep your system in shape. During this tuneup, your HVAC technician will lubricate, tighten, clean, and inspect various parts throughout the unit. He will also alert you to any potential problems so you can make repairs now before you’re left without heat in the winter.

If you have a fireplace, be sure to have it inspected before you use it. This is necessary for safety reasons and to be sure it is cleaned as needed. If you don’t use your fireplace, consider installing a chimney balloon to keep air from escaping through itA.

Update Your Window Drapes

Heavy window drapes are more efficient at keeping cold air out while sealing warm air inside where you want it. Open these drapes during the day to let sunlight stream in and naturally warm your home. Close the drapes as the sun sets, and you’ll enjoy lingering warmth so you can hold off using your heater even for a little while to save energy.

Check the Vents

Check vents throughout the house to make sure that they are open and unobstructed. It’s a common misconception that closing vents to unused rooms will improve energy efficiency. This actually disrupts the air pressure in your home and your energy expenses will actually increase. Leave air vents open throughout the house for optimum energy efficiency, and keep furniture and other obstructions away from these areas.

Seal Drafty Outlets

If you place your hand in front of the electrical outlets on exterior walls of the home, you may notice cold spots or slight drafts around these areas. This is because home builders often neglect to include proper insulation. Remove your outlet covers to see what’s lurking behind. You can seal small gaps with acrylic latex and fill in larger openings with foam sealant. Complete your project with a foam gasket placed over the outlet before you replace the cover.

Set Your Thermostat Correctly

If you have a programmable thermostat, setting it according to your household’s schedule will lead to energy savings throughout the season. Set your thermostat to lower the temperature 10 to 15 degrees at night when you’re sleeping. This will minimize the amount of heat you use while you’re inactive. Add flannel sheets and cozy blankets to your beds, and you may never notice the difference. You can also lower the temperature while you’re away from home during the day for additional savings.

Preventive tasks like these will outfit your home for maximum energy efficiency this fall and winter. Remember that simply adding another layer of clothing in cold weather months can lower the indoor temperatures that you’re comfortable with. To learn more about lowering your energy expenses or to schedule your seasonal maintenance visit, contact W.E. Brown at (434) 295-1177. We can help prepare your furnace for all the challenges of the winter season.

Image provided by Shutterstock

Keep Reading

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

Troubleshoot a Tripped Circuit Breaker.

When a breaker trips in your home, it’s due to overcapacity or a short: The breaker trips, stopping the flow of electricity as a safety measure. A tripped main breaker will cut the power off to your entire house. SOME COMMON CAUSES CAN INCLUDE: too many appliances; appliances that require too much electricity; damaged breakers;

Read More  
Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Troubleshoot uneven heating.

Routine maintenance makes sure your heat pump is working at peak performance. But if one room is typically colder than the rest of your home, here are a few DIY tips you can do to help. Test your thermostat. Affix a thermometer on your wall next to your thermostat. Place a towel behind the thermometer

Read More  
Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

Troubleshoot a clogged toilet.

To ensure that your toilet doesn’t overflow, remove the lid from the toilet tank and close the rubber flapper—unless you have a pressure-assisted tank. You may also reach behind the toilet and turn off the water supply. (Make sure you turn the supply back on when you’re ready to flush again.) PLUNGER Grab a heavy-duty

Read More  
What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat?

What is emergency heat—and why do I need it? As a follow-up to our recent blog “My A/C won’t keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day,” we’re taking a look at how heat pumps use emergency heat to perform adequately during the winter. Emergency or auxiliary heat is a supplemental heating component installed

Read More  
My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

My A/C won't keep my house cool enough on a 95-degree day.

It’s 95 degrees outside, and you can’t get your indoor temperature to go below 75 degrees—even with your thermostat set on 72 degrees. It seems as if the AC can’t keep up. First thing you might think; okay, let’s get a larger AC to keep perfectly cool when summer temperatures hit above 93 degrees. However,

Read More  
After the Flood.

After the Flood.

One year ago in May, severe rain in Charlottesville, Va. caused the banks of rivers and streams to flood; so much so that people lost their lives. I recently sat with Diana and Scott outside their home in White Hall to talk with them about the flood and how it changed their perspective on service.

Read More  
How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

How will the R22 refrigerant phase-out affect me?

If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, an R-22 refrigerant phase-out has been taking place in the air conditioning industry (since 2013) that will affect you—if it hasn’t already. (Some systems after 2010 were manufactured with the use of R-22. You can check the nameplate on your condenser for the refrigerant type.) The R-22

Read More  
Clearing The Air.

Clearing The Air.

There are many steps you can take to create a more air-friendly indoor environment. Some of the devices and claims can make the topic of air filtration confusing. Well, it doesn’t have to be. Read our blog and take a look at the simplified diagram to see if we can help clear the air on

Read More  
Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Finding value. It starts with a conversation.

Defined as relative worth, merit, or importance: value is different for everyone. The “best” may not always be the right value for your home. And this nuance is important to consider when it comes to replacing your HVAC system. Start with the right HVAC consultant or technician; they will walk you through a series of

Read More  
Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow, ice, and a little peace of mind.

Snow and ice are in the forecast for us (again). If you’re off to grab a few provisions, don’t forget to build in a little time to make sure your heat pump is ready for snow. A few simple steps can go a long way in ensuring you stay comfortable and safe during the snow

Read More  
Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

Five Signs it’s Time for a New Heating System

There comes a time in every home owner’s life when they realize their furnace just isn’t what it used to be. Years of wear took its toll, and your once young and powerful heating system is now struggling to keep your room warm. We know it is hard to say goodbye, but delaying its replacement

Read More  
Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

Preparing for Baby: Ideal Home Temperature

As you prepare to welcome your little one, there are probably a million things running through your mind when it comes to “baby-proofing” your home. While we cannot cover every safety tip out there, there are some important steps you can take to keep your family comfortable and safe during this new stage of life.

Read More  
Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

Service Titan: The Future of Customer Service

A Smarter and More Efficient Way to Manage As manager of the call center, there is never a dull day for Chrissy Kelly. Her job involves overseeing all of the operations in the department, meaning she must keep track of a lot of information. The call center team works together to handle all follow-up coordination,

Read More  
Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

Ten Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

There is a reason why more and more homeowners are making the switch to programmable thermostats every year–well… ten reasons actually: 1) It Saves You Money (Really) The best way to combat those high bills is to reduce your energy usage. Instead of heating or cooling your house while you are away, you are able

Read More  
Customizable Smart Home Technology

Customizable Smart Home Technology

After decades of experience providing reliable plumbing, electric, and HVAC services, W.E. Brown has expanded their products/services to include smart-home technology. While the idea of smart-home devices may be intimidating for some, Jay Taggart (CEO of W.E. Brown) saw this addition as a natural progression for the company. After all, they have been installing the

Read More  
Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Pursuing Her Lifelong Dream at W.E. Brown

Seven years ago, Jessica Pritchett began to dream about becoming an electrician, but put her goals aside to care for others. Despite all odds, her unwavering passion led her to pursue that dream at W.E. Brown years later. Her whole life, Jessica has been passionate about fixing things and discovering how they worked. However, pursuing

Read More  
W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

W.E. Brown's Everyday Heroes Save Cat

When a family’s cat was in serious danger, duct mechanic Roy Haislip and call center employee Jennifer Perry did not hesitate to come to its rescue. Their heroic actions and compassion for others exemplify what we always aim to achieve at W.E. Brown. Read about how the event unfolded through the eyes of Roy and

Read More  
A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

A Smart Way To Keep Your Cool. Plan Ahead.

Everything working together to create your whole-home comfort (your HVAC, dishwasher, washer, and dryer) has a lifespan. A lot of people tend to wait until their system fails or gets entirely run into the ground before having it replaced. Something to consider, however, if you know the manufacturer’s lifespan on any of your products, is

Read More  
Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

Rolling in 2018 With a Fleet of New Trucks

New Look, Same Reliable Service Here at W.E. Brown, we are always striving to go above and beyond for our customers, and there is no detail too small when it comes to providing an excellent experience. From the moment our trucks hit the road, our goal is to provide customer service that is both personal

Read More  

Forecasting The Health of Your Pipes With Video Certainty

Yep, and we give this video ‘Two Thumbs Up.’ As a routine check-up, a Sewer Camera video inspection of your main sewer line is a noninvasive and cost-effective way to forecast your home’s plumbing health as well as identify an invasive root before it grows, collects debris, and turns into a significant clog in your

Read More