Local Firm Offers Tips to Lower Your Winter Heating Bills

By Frank Cortese
Business Contributor

Now that Halloween is over, the cold weather is approaching. The drop in temperatures can also mean a rise in your heating bill if you don’t prepare properly. Here are a few tips for your home heating system.

First, make sure that you get serviced.

Having your heating system cleaned and serviced regularly could reduce your fuel costs by 10 percent or more. Getting your system professionally serviced now reduces the likelihood of needing emergency service come January.

As a general rule, oil systems should be cleaned and serviced annually, while gas systems should be every other year.

If your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with a new Energy Star-qualified heating system. These models use 6 percent to 15 percent less fuel than non-Energy Star systems. Visit the Energy Star website for a list of retailers and qualifying models.

Have that covered? Great! But did you know that your house could be losing heat because of leaks? And we don’t mean water! You wouldn’t leave a window open all winter long, but small air leaks around windows, doors, pipes, recessed lighting, and electrical outlets can cause an equivalent loss of heat. Sealing air leaks can reduce your heating bills by 10 percent to 20 percent and possibly more, depending on specific conditions in
your home.

Most heat loss occurs as warm air rises and exits the house through gaps around the chimney or attic, while also drawing cold outside air in through cracks in the basement and foundation.

Pay particular attention to the attic hatch or pull-down stairs and to any interior-wall top plates in the attic, since these areas are frequently leaky. Another significant source of air leaks is ductwork that extends throughout the house. Several studies have indicated that sealing ductwork alone can result in an average annual savings in heating bills of 17 percent.

Give New England Total Energy a call and they’ll give your home an energy audit and let you know how to make your house more energy efficient! New England Total Energy has been keeping Greenwich warm for over
75 years.

Frank Cortese is operations manager of the New England Total Energy.

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