I ran across this article and thought it would be helpful with all this cold weather we have been getting in the City of Plano. It looks as if a warming trend is on the horizon however we still will be having cold nights. I hope you find this useful. 6 Things You Must Know About Home Heating By Pat Mertz Esswein, Kiplingers.com Your home may be your castle, but you don't have to pay a king's ransom to keep it warm.
1. It's cold inside.
Sitting in your overcoat with the thermostat at 78 degrees? You could
have a problem. If you haven't already sealed out wintry drafts, do it
now. Apply weatherstripping and clear plastic film over windows, and add
door sweeps. To find out where else your home is losing energy, hire an
energy auditor ($250 to $600) who is certified by Home Performance With Energy Star or the Building Performance Institute.
2. Your furnace could be kaput. You should schedule an annual furnace tune-up by a member of the Air Conditioning Contractors of America
($80 to $100 per unit). But if the furnace is more than 15 years old,
you could be sending one-third to half of the fuel it uses up the flue.
Replace it with a new, Energy Star–qualified gas- or oil-burning furnace
that runs with at least 90% to 95% efficiency. The cost of swapping an
older gas furnace for a high-efficiency one starts at about $2,000 to
$6,000, but it could cost $7,000 to $12,000 or more, depending on model
and capacity, according to CostHelper.com.
If your old furnace was originally rated for 78% efficiency and the new
unit is 90% efficient, you'll save about $14 for every $100 you
currently spend on fuel, says the Department of Energy.
3. Take a holistic approach.
If your air conditioning is more than ten years old and uses the
furnace's blower to move cooled air through your home, replace both
units simultaneously. That will decrease your total cost by about
one-third compared with staggered installation, says Glenn Hourahan,
senior vice-president for technology with the ACCA. If you live in a
moderate climate, you could install a "dual fuel" system, with a heat
pump and gas furnace, for greater savings. The heat pump will heat and
cool your home, say, from spring through fall. In the winter, a "smart
thermostat" will fire up the furnace when outdoor temperatures drop
below 40 degrees.
4. Who you gonna call? For
installation, maintenance or repair, look for a heating, ventilation and
air conditioning (HVAC) contractor who is a member of the ACCA and
employs technicians certified by North American Technician Excellence.
The best contractors subscribe to ACCA's Quality Installation Checklist.
5. Roll in R2D2. For those rooms where you still need to wear furry slippers and a Snuggie, consider either a convection or radiant portable space heater
(about $30 to $150). For greatest efficiency, match the heater's size
to the rooms where you'll use it, and get one with thermostatic control.
For safety, choose an electric model with the Underwriter's Laboratory
label and a tip-over safety switch that will shut off the unit if it
6. And don't forget... Capture the
sun's warmth by opening shades on south-facing windows during the day.
And cover all windows at night. Use a programmable thermostat to set
back the temperature ten to 15 degrees when you're away or asleep. Clean
or change your furnace filters once a month or as recommended. If you
have a fireplace, close the damper and doors when it's not in use.
Author:Christine Shannon Phone: 972-824-9288 Dated: February 12th 2014 Views: 3,897 About Christine: Buying or Selling With Team Christine Shannon
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