December 20, 2017

Ten Ways to Stay Warm and Save Money

Our furnaces on average account for about half of our entire home energy consumption during the peak
months. With inflated energy bills, everyone is looking for ways to trim down their energy expenditures.
However, in these brutal Fort Wayne winters, life without your furnace is at least uncomfortable and at
most unbearable. Fortunately the energy bills of your home are a combination of a number of different
sources. By identifying where we waste energy, we can alter our habits to reduce our bills without
sacrificing comfort.

1. Clean Your Furnace:
The absolute most important thing you can do to keep your furnace running efficiently is regular
maintenance. The MJM furnace tuneup service will prevent breakdowns before they happen and keep
your furnace running in tip‐top shape.

2. Change Your Air Filter:
Your furnace filter should be changed every 30 days during the peak season. As particles collect and
compound in the filter, it reduces airflow. The dirty filter will hamper efficiency and shorten the overall
lifespan of the furnace.

3. Use Your Ceiling Fans:
It may seem counter‐intuitive, but by using our ceiling fans in the winter we can actually make rooms
warmer. The heat from your furnace will rise and collect near the ceiling where it is no use to you! A fan
spinning clockwise will pull air up dispersing the collected hot air and forcing it to once again to rise past
your body. Use counterclockwise rotation in the summer to cool the rooms in your home.

4. Use Washing Machines and Dishwashers Wisely:
Adjust the load size to match the amount of clothes you are washing, and use only cold water for the
cycle. To maximize efficiency when washing dishes, be sure to completely fill the machine before
operating. Whether the dishwasher is half or completely full, it will use the same amount of water and
energy when cycling.

5. Use Compact Fluorescent Lighting:
Compact fluorescent light bulbs use less than half as much energy as incandescent bulbs with a
dramatically longer lifespan. Available in many different lighting “temperatures” and colors, fluorescent
lighting is the clear choice for any homeowner looking to reduce their energy use.

6. Keep Shades Up and Blinds Open:
By opening the shades and blinds, we harness the natural heating power of the sun. When dusk
approaches, be sure to close the blinds and curtains to block drafts and keep in as much of the heat as

7. Insulate Your Water Heater:
The hot water in the tank of your water heater loses its energy through the walls of the tank. By
wrapping it in a “Water Heater Blanket” you supply a much needed layer of insulation to keep the heat
where it belongs. Extremely affordable and saves roughly $20 a year, this tiny investment will pay for
itself within the first year.

8. Install and Use a Smart Thermostat:
A smart thermostat can be set to raise and lower the temperature of your home based on your
schedule. When you are away at work, you can use your smart thermostat app to set the temperature
and reduce the use of your heating system to conserve energy without sacrificing comfort. Since you
know the general time when you return from work, the thermostat can be set to have the home ready
for you when you walk through the door.

9. Seal Leaks:
Drafts pose the greatest threat to your home comfort in the winter. The expensive heat seeps out, and
cold air blows in ruining any chance you had for a thrifty winter. Locate and seal up these leaks in your
home envelope with caulk or weather strips.

10. Turn Off Any Unnecessary Items That Draw Power:
This includes vampire power. Any device that has remote operation, an LED light, or hibernation mode is
still draining energy even though it seems to be “OFF.” This vampire power accounts for 20% of our
national power expenditures. Put your electronics on a power strip and when not in use, flip the power
strip off.

The key to energy efficiency is awareness. In our day to day lives, we don’t realize how much energy we
are using. Electricity is always plentiful and available, so conservation is rarely at the front of our minds.
By taking inventory of our habits, we can identify where energy is wasted and make changes.
Remember, the number one way to cut heating and cooling costs is an annual tuneup for both your furnace and air conditioner. Call or click today to start the savings!