Did you know that nearly half of your home's energy costs are the result of heating and cooling your home? Given their significance, these are two areas where you cannot afford anything other than efficiency.
So, if you've been experiencing higher than average energy bills this winter, it's time to get to the bottom of the problem. Learn some of the reasons why your heating cost has increased and what you can do to resolve these issues.
1. Window Coverage
Blinds, curtains, and drapes extend far beyond the cosmetic realm. Window coverings also keep your home warmer. Unfortunately, glass technology has not yet advanced to the point of total thermal transfer blockage. No matter the efficiency rating, or the costs, of your windows, some level of heat will escape through the glass.
During the day, when the sun is out, this works to your advantage as heat from the sun will radiate inside. But when the sun sets, the heat from inside your home will escape through the glass. Install coverings throughout your home so that you can cover the windows at night and minimize this transfer.
For extra savings, invest in thermal curtains since they further reduce the rate at which heat escapes.
2. Expired Insulation
Unfortunately, insulation often falls under the out of sight, out of mind umbrella. However, although it's hidden behind the walls, insulation plays a very critical role in the overall comfort and efficiency of a home. A home with proper insulation can reduce its heating and cooling costs by as much as 50%.
Insulation is designed to last for many decades, but several factors can drastically reduce its lifespan, including humidity and poor installation. Having the wrong type of insulation in your home will also affect its efficiency.
For the Asheville area, a wood frame home needs an insulation rating somewhere between R38 and R60. If your bills are going up without explanation and you notice cold spots in your home, have a professional assess the condition of the insulation.
3. Service Contract
You may be able to lower your home's heating cost by entering into a service contract agreement with an oil delivery company. In terms of savings, many of these agreements provide you with an opportunity to lock in an oil price. Even if the cost of oil increases, your rate will remain consistent throughout the term of your agreement.
If there is a significant price hike, this benefit is especially helpful. However, the benefits of service contracts extend far beyond cost savings. As part of the agreement, you can have your tank filled at predetermined intervals based on your usage habits to keep you from running out of fuel, especially on those cold nights.
4. Worn Fixtures
Replacing worn fixtures around your home (like doors and windows) will also help increase your home's efficiency and the amount of money you're spending to heat your home. Over time the seals around a door start to shrink or wear away. When this occurs, this leaves a small gap around the door's exterior.
If you don't think this is significant, understand that as little as a 1/8" gap between an exterior door and its frame will let in an amount of air equivalent to opening a small window in your home.
This level of opening will allow a large amount of warmed air to escape. Much of the same is true with worn windows, so ensure you're replacing these fixtures when they've exceeded their lifespan.
At Biltmore Eblen Oil, we strive to keep our customers warm, while also helping them save money. We would be happy to discuss your oil delivery needs and anyway we can help you save.