Reducing Electricity and Heating Oil Consumption Does not Have to be Expensive
August 24, 2015 -With record high temperatures this summer, it may be difficult to think about winter, however, Connecticut Better Business Bureau recommends property owners start now to prepare for the cold months ahead.
Installing energy-efficient windows and doors may not be an option depending on your budget, but you don't have to break the bank to put a significant dent in heating costs.
The main priority is preventing the escape of warm air through windows, under doors and through cracks and holes. Though the holes may be small, they have a cumulative effect that can drive up your heating costs.
This is also a good time of the year to have your furnace inspected and cleaned, to make sure it doesn't break down when you need it most. BBB recommends obtaining a second opinion if you are told your furnace needs replacing.
Experts also recommend having your chimney cleaned to get rid of any debris that might cause a fire. Unfortunately, BBB hears complaints about unethical handymen posting flyers and making the rounds in neighborhoods, offering a chimney inspection and cleaning for an unusually low rate. In some cases they will bring concrete and debris with them, and tell the homeowner that their chimney liner is damaged and needs replacing at a cost of several hundred dollars.
BBB offers additional tips to lower heating and electricity costs:
Plug those holes - Caulking is inexpensive and can be used to plug cracks and holes that would otherwise allow heat to escape.
Close the attic windows - Heat rises then cools, and if your attic windows are not properly sealed, that heat will be wasted. Replace or buy storm windows to keep warm air in the house.
Visit www.energizect.com - That's where you can select a wholesale electricity supplier from a list. Prices vary and so do the types of contracts and fees. Make sure you carefully read and understand all terms and conditions.
Use insulating film - If you don't have the budget to put in new windows, apply insulating film over them to block drafts. You can also buy extra insulation and install it yourself as needed.
Consider heating oil options - Some analysts predict heating oil prices will drop significantly this winter and one option is to pre purchase oil. Demand for heating oil usually increases during the cold months and that often means higher prices. However, keep an eye on heating oil prices before signing an oil contract.
Install insulated windows and doors if you can afford it and you will see a significant reduction in energy costs. Any money budgeted for future energy-saving projects will pay dividends for many years to come.
You can check out a professional or company, or find a BBB-accredited business at www.bbb.org.