DES MOINES, Iowa — Everyone likes saving money, right? Well if you’re home isn’t being heated efficiently it’s like throwing money out your window in the midst of this arctic cold snap.
Energy analyst Ryan Lovan says there are several easy things you can do to save money, without sacrificing warmth.
“So kind of rule number one when you’re looking at the furnace down in your basement, the first thing to check for and usually the easiest thing is the furnace filter, the dirty filter makes it harder for the air to go through, so it can really have a noticeable effect on your bill. There are devices called furnace filter alarms that just kind of snap on to the filter itself when it gets dirty it makes a little whistling sound to let you know that it is dirty” said Lovan.
For water heaters, make sure the pipes are insulated. You can pick up cheap pipe insulation from your local hardware store. Insulated pipes are more resistant to freezing and bursting. Also make sure that the temperature isn’t cranked all the way up.
“You don’t need it on the highest setting, if it’s a temperature dial usually around 120 degrees is probably good” said Lovan.
But what about outside of the basement? Windows are one of the prime culprits of heat loss, and easy to shore up.
When at work with The Energy Group, Lovan uses a thermal gun to view windows and if any cold air is getting through; Lovan suggests using a calk gun to fill in the gaps.
“Leaks in the window can act as essentially a hole in the house, so you’ll constantly be losing that hot heated air” he said.
If you don’t have a fancy thermal camera, just use your hand to feel for a breeze or light incense and see where the smoke blows.
The Energy Group also says using items like a low flow shower head can reduce the amount of water you need to heat, meaning less money on your bill.