As the winter approaches, people are starting to worry about heating costs this year and how to budget appropriately for them. The past few winters have been long and cold and therefore, heating costs in the previous years were expensive. This article talks about home heating cost predictions as well as what you can do in your own home to lower your heating costs this season. If you use heating oil in your home, a good start might be to be aware of the price of the fuel that heats your home. In the following article by The News, they discuss the expected costs of heating oil during this upcoming winter:
Energy Prices Trending Downward
Traditionally, the approach of winter means a rise in fuel prices juxtaposed with a steep drop in temperatures, but this year is looking to defy those expectations.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Association (EIA), those price drops are the beginning of a long-term trend rather than just a short-term reprieve. The EIA predicts residential heating oil will cost $2.73 per gallon over the course of 2015 and then continue dropping to $2.65 per gallon in 2016. This section was originally found on “The News” website which can be viewed here.
It appears that many consumers of heating oil will be able to enjoy an all-time low for fuel costs during the cold season. There are also many ways that one can lower heating costs by taking some simple additional steps in their homes. In the following article titled, “Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips” by Energy.Gov, they discuss some easy ways that you can save on heating costs this winter:
Fall and Winter Energy-Saving Tips
This article will help you find strategies to help you save energy during the cool fall and cold winter months. Some of the tips below are free and can be used on a daily basis to increase your savings; others are simple and inexpensive actions you can take to ensure maximum savings through the winter.
If you haven’t already, conduct an energy assessment to find out where you can save the most, and consider making a larger investment for long-term energy savings.
Take Advantage Of Heat From The Sun
Open curtains on your south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight to naturally heat your home, and close them at night to reduce the chill you may feel from cold windows.
Cover Drafty Windows
Use a heavy-duty, clear plastic sheet on a frame or tape clear plastic film to the inside of your window frames during the cold winter months. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame to help reduce infiltration.
Install tight-fitting, insulating drapes or shades on windows that feel drafty after weatherizing.
Find out about other window treatments and coverings that can improve energy efficiency.
It seems that if you follow these simple and easy tips, you can save even more on your home heating costs. One of the biggest ways to save on your heating expenses this winter is by maintaining your heating system to ensure that it is running in optimal shape. In the following article by Energy Star, they talk about how you can save on heating costs by maintaining your heating system:
Maintain your equipment to prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Keep your cooling and heating system at peak performance by having a contractor do annual pre-season check-ups. Contractors get busy once summer and winter come, so it’s best to check the cooling system in the spring and the heating system in the fall. To remember, you might plan the check-ups around the time changes in the spring and fall.
A typical maintenance check-up should include the following.
- Check thermostat settings to ensure the cooling and heating system keeps you comfortable when you are home and saves energy while you are away.
- Tighten all electrical connections and measure voltage and current on motors. Faulty electrical connections can cause unsafe operation of your system and reduce the life of major components.
- Lubricate all moving parts. Parts that lack lubrication cause friction in motors and increases the amount of electricity you use.
- Check and inspect the condensate drain in your central air conditioner, furnace and/or heat pump (when in cooling mode). A plugged drain can cause water damage in the house and affect indoor humidity levels.
- Check controls of the system to ensure proper and safe operation. Check the starting cycle of the equipment to assure the system starts, operates, and shuts off properly. To read the full Energy Star article, click here.
It seems that proper maintenance of your system will prevent future problems and unwanted costs. Also, by following the simple guidelines mentioned in the second article, you will save even more on home heating costs this winter. Heating oil prices have dropped to an all-time low which can allow for additional savings.
Better Home Heat Council concentrates on educating consumers about oil heat, especially on topics involving the economical and efficient use of oil heat. We also help consumers with their energy efficiency issues in their homes and find effective solutions to make their homes more energy efficient. We support local oil companies of Lehigh Valley that provide a range of services and products. Click here to search for a home heating oil supplier in your area. Many of our oil dealers provide energy consultations for their customers.