Here in Montgomery County, we’re several months into winter. Are you already getting tired of seeing
those sky-high heating bills? Even if you turn your thermostat down, you might still find yourself
shivering and paying way too much. But there are a few surprisingly easy steps you can take to reduce
those bills and increase your comfort. Talk about a win-win.
1. Have your furnace checked by a professional. It’s not too late for a furnace tune-up. During our
inspection, we’re not just making sure your furnace doesn’t break down (though of course we
do try to reduce that risk), we’re also making sure it’s running as efficiently as possible. A few
tweaks to your settings or a basic cleaning of parts can result in big savings, so if you haven’t had
a check yet, schedule it today.
2. Cover your windows. No matter how much you caulk those drafts, cold air is still going to sneak
in through the windows. Your best bet is to keep them covered. Consider putting up thermal
curtains. These thick, insulated panels lock your warm air in and the cold air out. They also come
in a variety of designer colors and designs, so you won’t have to sacrifice fashion for comfort.
You might even consider keeping the curtains up into the summer months; they’ll reduce your
cooling costs and many are even light-proof, helping the kids sleep while the sun’s still up.
3. Insulate the unlikely places. You’ve probably wrapped some padding around your pipes to keep
them from freezing; maybe you even added a new layer of insulation in your attic. But did you
insulate your water heater? Many new water heaters are already insulated, but some aren’t. If
it’s in a cooler area, like a basement or garage, it will have to work harder to keep your water
hot. Look for water heater insulation kits, and you could see a water heating savings of 4-9%.
Also don’t forget about your electric sockets; these little outlets can let a shocking amount of
cold air into your home. You can find insulating covers for pennies at your hardware store.
4. Winter proof your fireplace. How often do you really light a fire? It always sounds like a good
idea, but then you have to haul wood and get kindling and somehow, all those roaring fires just
never happen. If your fireplace isn’t in use, make sure your damper is closed. If possible, also use
a fireplace screen just to keep those last drafts out.
You’ll be amazed at how much you can save—and how much better your home will feel—just by taking
these small steps. And if you’re still not comfortable in your home, it’s time to call in a professional.
If you have problems with your furnace or still need that heating check, call GAC. We serve Maryland
homeowners to keep them comfortable all year ‘round. We’d love to help you, too.