In Texas, we need our air conditioning for at least 9 months out of the year. So sometimes, we can take our heating systems for granted. While we don’t typically have a long or harsh winter, the cold snaps and winter storms we do have are no joke. If we’re not careful to pay attention to our energy use and make adjustments, we could find ourselves with hefty bills and cold feet. Here are some tips for energy efficient comfort this winter.

1. Find and seal leaks. Cold air can leak into the home through minor cracks and gaps in windows and doorways. Seal any gaps with caulk or weather-stripping.

2. Check the heating system’s efficiency. Older homes can mean inefficient and faulty heating systems that use extra energy to heat your home, costing you money. If you notice uneven heating or the system needs frequent repairs, schedule an inspection by Ellis AC/Heating.

3. Use energy-efficient holiday lights. With Christmas coming up, the pretty holiday lights that decorate your home can burn electricity. Invest in LED Christmas lights to minimize energy usage. Look for ENERGY STAR® certified lights.

4. Consider a programmable thermostat. During cold weather, set your thermostat as low as is comfortable when you are at home during waking hours. Setting the temperature between 65 and 68 will help cut your energy bill. Reducing the heat by only a few degrees when you’re sleeping or out of the house will help save money.You can also use an electric blanket at night. An electric blanket is more economical than heating the entire house all night long. Another option – swap out your bedding to flannel sheets or heavier blankets. 

5. Reduce heat loss through the fireplace. If you have a fireplace, keep the damper closed when it is not in use. Close the doors leading into the room when a fire is kindled and lower the thermostat temperature. If you never use it, seal the flue.

6. Take advantage of sunlight. Naturally heat your home by opening curtains on south-facing windows during the day. Close curtains at night to protect your home from losing heat through the windows.

7. Cover drafty windows. If your home does not have energy-efficient windows, tightly seal them with clear plastic sheets covering the frames. You can also use energy efficient curtains. Don’t invite cold air in. Shut your garage door to keep out the cold and cut costs.

8. Reduce water heating costs. Reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Or consider installing a tankless water heater that heats water as needed, saving costs in the long run.

9. Replace air filters. Remember to replace air filters once a month. Dirty or clogged air filters force your heating system to work harder for proper airflow, using extra energy and raising costs.

10. Use Ceiling Fans. Ceiling fans can be used to get better airflow in your home. Running your fans counterclockwise can push hot air upwards in the summertime. Running them clockwise pushes warm air down in the wintertime.

Regular maintenance and quality repairs can help you save money on your electric bill and add years to your HVAC system’s lifespan. We’re dedicated to giving you friendly, helpful service and quality repairs that last. We always take the time to explain what we’re doing and explain any questions you may have. Call or visit our website for more information or a free quote today!