Save Money on Heat this Winter

Everyone wants to keep their heating costs as low as possible. But that can be a challenge during super-cold Wisconsin winters. The biggest savings will come from investing in a modern oil heating system that doesn’t waste a lot fuel.

But there are also many small energy conservation methods that can add up to impressive savings. Let’s take a closer look at some of the steps you can take to improve your home’s energy efficiency.

Run your ceiling fans in reverse

During the winter, the warm air in your home rises toward the ceiling while cooler air sinks toward the floor—which doesn’t do much for your comfort! But most fan models have a switch that allows you to reverse the direction of the blades so they spin clockwise in the winter. This draws the cooler air upwards and pushes the warm air down, where you can feel it. Even though running your fans will use some electricity, you can still manage a net savings in energy use, generally about 2%, because you can set your thermostat lower and not notice the difference.

Install a smart programmable thermostat

Programmable thermostats allow you to set your temperatures so that you aren’t wasting energy when you aren’t home or are asleep. Today’s smart thermostats can be controlled remotely, giving you greater control over your energy usage. This relatively inexpensive investment can potentially cut your energy usage by five or even 10%.

Some of the latest wireless thermostat systems adapt to your lifestyle using innovative geo-fencing (location-based) technology. It knows when you’re away, and that helps you save energy. It also knows when you’re just around the corner, ensuring that your home is at the perfect temperature when you arrive. This gives you peace of mind, maximum home comfort and energy savings!

Upgrade your system’s burner

The burner on your heating system is key part of your system and subsequently has a significant impact on a home’s energy efficiency. If your burner is more than 20 years old, you could potentially replace your burner and improve energy efficiency by 10% and even more in some cases.

Replace your entire heating system

As stated before, the most impactful action you can take is to replace your outdated heating system with a new, higher efficiency heating oil boiler or furnace. While this will cost you the most, it will also save you the most. And depending on the age of your current system, you may be able to improve efficiency and cut your bills by 20% or more.

Close the gap

If you combined all the gaps around windows and doors of an average home, you would end up with a 9-square-foot hole in your wall. Nearly half of all the energy used in a home escapes through that “hole.” To save money, use caulk to fill gaps, cracks and small holes in areas where:

  • a wall and the outside frame of a window or door come together.
  • floors meet outside walls.
  • pipes and cables enter your home.

Use weatherstripping to stop drafts around the edges of doors and windows. Add a strip between the window sash and sill and install a “sweep” at the bottom of doors.

Preventive medicine for lower heat costs

Studies have shown that only about 55% of U.S. homeowners have their heating equipment serviced regularly. Those who don’t follow a recommended maintenance schedule usually experience higher fuel bills and more repairs. Heating equipment that is maintained properly uses less fuel than units not maintained. Approximately 75% of all emergency repairs can be prevented with regular maintenance.

Learn more about improving efficiency and saving money.