With colder weather coming here in Central Massachusetts, many of you may be wondering about your heating costs in the months ahead.
According to a recent report in the Wall Street Journal, those who use propane for their home heating may see lower bills. However, if you heat your home with heating oil, it is predicted that your heating costs will go up by about 8%, because while heating oil pricing is lower than last year, the winter is forecast to be colder than last year.
Whatever energy source you use to keep your home warm, Pioneer Oil and Propane has assembled some tips that can help keep your energy costs down without sacrificing comfort.
Your home’s furnace or boiler is a significant investment. It’s crucial to take good care of it by scheduling an annual heating maintenance tune-up. This not only extends its lifespan but also ensures optimal efficiency. At Pioneer Oil and Propane, our service technicians are highly skilled and equipped with cutting-edge diagnostic tools. They will thoroughly assess and test your heating system, perform necessary cleaning and lubrication, and promptly address any repairs that may be required.
Our affordable service plans not only include a tune-up, but they also cover many parts and labor costs associated with repairs. Trust us to keep your heating system in top-notch condition.
During the annual tune-up of your heating system, a Pioneer Oil and Propane service technician performs various tasks, including checking the functionality and calibration of your thermostat. If your thermostat is not performing optimally, it is recommended to upgrade it. Have you considered using a programmable or smart thermostat? Now is the perfect time to invest in one. With a programmable thermostat, you can set lower temperatures when you are away, schedule the house to be warm upon your return, and even have the temperature lowered a few degrees overnight. This level of control and automation ensures optimal comfort and energy efficiency. This is a smart investment, as upgrading to a smart or programmable thermostat can cut your heating costs by 10%.
If you have forced air heat, one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to ensure optimal efficiency for your furnace is by maintaining clean air filters. When air filters become dirty, they allow unclean air to circulate through the heating system, leading to the accumulation of dust and dirt on furnace components. This can result in damage, expensive repairs, and a reduced lifespan for your furnace. Generally, it is recommended to replace your air filter every one to three months. However, if you have pets or individuals with allergies in your home, you may need to replace it more frequently, ideally on a monthly basis.
To optimize the efficiency of your heating system, ensure that the area surrounding forced air registers, baseboard heaters, or radiators remains unobstructed. When warm air becomes trapped, it forces your heating system to work harder and longer, resulting in increased energy consumption and higher costs. Prevent draperies, furniture, or any other objects from blocking these heating sources.
An effective and affordable method to maintain heat in your home and maximize your heating system’s efficiency is to eliminate drafts. Pay close attention to the base and edges of windows and doors as these are common areas for drafts. Ignoring drafts can result in up to a 15% increase in your heating costs. Spending a few hours on a weekend to apply caulk and weatherstripping can effectively retain heat and keep the cold air out.
If you haven’t gotten your home’s furnace or boiler its annual tune-up, now is the time to do so! Contact us to schedule it, and don’t forget to ask about our service plans!