When trying to find ways to save money and conserve energy, you should think of your entire Iowa home as a system, and that system has three main parts:
Each of these three components contributes to your home’s energy efficiency and you can make a positive impact on energy usage (and your energy costs) in a number of ways.
Let’s start with the building envelope. Many homes are colder than necessary in the winter due to poor insulation levels. In the average home, about one-third of heat loss occurs through the ceilings, which should have a minimum of six inches of quality thermal insulation to keep heat inside the home, where it belongs. Otherwise, some of your heat will rise through the ceilings into the attic and then seep outside. What a waste of heating energy! Consider calling in a trusted home improvement contractor to evaluate your insulation levels.
Something you can do on your own during the winter months to save money will take hardly any effort at all. Use the sun’s free solar heat by leaving drapes and curtains open during the day. Just remember to close them at night.
In many families, there are often debates over which is the right thermostat setting during the winter. The trick is finding a balance between comfort and savings.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), in the winter, the optimal setting is 68°F when you’re at home. Dial it down toward the 60°F range when you’re asleep or out of the house. The temperatures you ultimately choose will depend on factors like the outdoor temperature and your family’s comfort preferences. Remember, these are just guidelines.
According to the USDOE, the lower the interior temperature, the slower the heat loss. The longer your house remains at the lower temperature, the more energy you save because your house has lost less energy than it would have at the higher temperature.
The Energy Department concludes that you can save as much as 10% a year on annual energy costs by simply adjusting your thermostat 7°-10°F for eight hours a day from its normal setting.
TIP: An easy way to control your temperature settings is to invest in a smart programmable thermostat.
To learn about how you can make a positive impact on your home’s energy efficiency through upgrades to mechanical systems, consider the benefits of having a propane gas furnace. This will heat air to about 130-140 º and operate in short intervals to minimize operating costs while maximizing warmth.
Right now, when you install a new propane furnace in your home, you may qualify for a $250 rebate. Other rebates are also available for the installation of new propane water heaters, including highly efficient tankless models. Learn more about propane rebates.