6 Tips to Boost Your Oil-Heated Home’s Energy Efficiency this Winter
If you’re a homeowner in Connecticut, odds are you’re pretty concerned with your home’s energy efficiency—especially if you rely on oil heating.
Energy efficiency doesn’t just mean saving money on your utility bills; it means staying comfortable through New England’s seasonal extremes and making sure you’re doing your part for the environment.
Luckily, boosting your home’s energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult, and it doesn’t have to involve turning down your thermostat to the point of discomfort. Follow these easy tips to help improve your oil-heated home’s energy efficiency this winter.
1. Seal Your Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are some of the prime culprits when it comes to poor energy efficiency, especially in the kinds of older homes common throughout Connecticut. This is due to leaky frames that let warm air out and cold air in.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, sealing window and door frames with caulk can result in energy savings of up to 20%. Not bad for an afternoon’s work!
2. Upgrade Your Insulation
According to the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, 90% of American homes are under-insulated. Is yours one of them?
Investing in new insulation for your home’s walls and attic can result in huge energy savings, and even help to prevent ice dams caused by warm air leaking through your roof.
Insulating air vents and hot water pipes can also help improve energy efficiency with a relatively low investment.
3. Use Your Curtains Wisely
You don’t need high-tech solar panels to use the sun for energy—just make sure to open your curtains when the sunlight hits them from the outside. Sunlight entering your home can have a slight warming effect, even on cold days.
On the other hand, you should be sure to close your curtains at night. Heavy curtains can offer effective insulation and help keep warm air inside where it belongs, especially when there’s no solar energy to miss out on.
4. Limit the Use of Exhaust Fans
Exhaust fans in rooms like the kitchen and bathroom serve an important purpose, but if left on for too long they can begin to channel warm our outside.
Using fans during a shower or when cooking is perfectly fine, just be sure to turn them off when you’re done.
5. Get a New Furnace or Boiler
How old is your home’s furnace or boiler? If it’s more than 15 years old, you’re wasting energy. As the years pass, normal wear and tear reduces the energy efficiency of older systems, and innovations in technology make new ones even more efficient than ever.
Upgrading to a new furnace or boiler system can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30%, and pay for itself in as little as five years.
Learn more about oil equipment installations from Arbor Energy.
6. Hire a Full-Service Oil Delivery Company
For many homeowners with oil heat, buying heating oil means finding the lowest price of the day and paying with cash on delivery. This might seem like it makes sense, especially in the short term, but smart homeowners know that full-service companies like Arbor Energy deliver a much better value.
The value of full-service oil delivery is due to a number of benefits:
- Automatic delivery—no need to track your fuel oil levels
- Emergency service available around the clock
- Routine maintenance and tune-ups—experts recommend having your HVAC system tuned up at least yearly, which can improve efficiency considerably