The cold weather has put a damper on everyone’s pocket. Despite the fact that there have been transformations in the energy sector, energy prices have been getting higher. While people in the Northeast have to contend with escalating costs arising from a shortage of natural gas, those in the Midwest are now paying double for propane.
According to a report released by the Energy Information Agency, only a mere 10 percent of the over 100 million homes in America will be safe from the puffed up heating expenses expected this winter. Those using oil will be affected most with a bill of approximately $2114, followed by propane users at $1666. Electric heat and natural gas customers will come after at $914 and $665 respectively. Apparently, these figures show a 13% rise from the payments made by households last year.
Taking these statistics into account, Americans will have a hard time maintaining their indoor temperatures at comfortable levels this year. A one degree increase on the thermostat will for instance translate to a 3% rise in heating costs, and setting the thermostat at extremely low temperatures will not help either because it could make the pipes freeze. In connection with this, on the one hand, experts propose leaving the doors on kitchen sink cabinets open to enable better airflow around the pipes. Conversely, those using space heaters in their homes are advised to be extra keen on handling them to avoid the risks of fire accidents. The heaters should be placed no less than three feet from flammable items.
To cut back on heating costs, homeowners can employ the services of a professional HVAC technician in order to find and install new furnaces. Modern heating systems have been designed to offer extra efficiency and households only require the services of a HVAC expert to evaluate their expected savings and subsequently make an upgrade. In general however, the professional HVAC technician will assess the efficiency of the system, the home’s heating requirements, and the overall fuel costs before determining whether or not there’s need for a new installation.
Heating systems can go for as long as 20 years; so, if you are a homeowner with one that is yet to complete its lifespan, you can hold onto it but also devise ways to improve energy efficiency in your home. The chilliness of winter easily finds its way into houses with too little or poorly installed insulation, thus making the bills shoots up. Ensuring proper insulation on your walls and attic can therefore go a long way into keeping your expenses manageable. To get the most out of the insulation, you can go a step further and get a home auditor to conduct an energy audit so you are able to tell where leaks are occurring.