When the temperature drops and you need to keep your home warm, your energy costs can sky rocket quickly. That’s why it’s so crucial to have a home heating system with improved energy efficiency.

As the winter months are just on the horizon, now is the time to check out your system to see if it’s running as efficiently as possible or if you may need something new. Heating and air experts say that nearly half of your home’s energy consumption is dedicated to your warming up the home. That can represent a serious drain on your finances.

Your Home’s Energy Efficiency

A major part of determining the energy efficiency of your heating system is to check how well your home utilizes and contains the heat that is being produced.

Take a minute to examine all of the main areas where you could be losing your valuable warm air. That means checking for leaks in and around your doors and windows. Looking for small cracks in the walls and near your floors. Anywhere you think air may be getting in or out of the home should be examined carefully and preventive measures taken.

The actions you can take to stop air from escaping are varied and dependent upon the type of leak you’ve encountered. For windows or sliding glass doors, it may something as simple as applying some weatherstripping to close up tiny gaps that may exist. Caulk is good for sealing up those cracks and spaces that have emerged around your window frames or where walls and floors meet.

Additional insulation is also a good solution for those homes that are letting air through the walls as it can cut down on drafts.

All of these options are great for helping you increase your home’s energy efficiency and saving money on your energy bills. If you aren’t sure of where to look in your home to discover these often times very minute and tiny gaps and fissures, there are many regions around the United States that have free home energy auditors available to do that work for you.

Analyzing Your Home Heating System

Now that you’ve taken the time to ensure that your home is energy efficient, your next step is to consider whether or not you have the right home heating system for peak efficiency. Doing that requires you to consider these helpful suggestions for analyzing the current system and giving some thought to replacing what you have with something better instead.

Surrounding Climate

Homes that are located in regions of the country that see bitter cold temperatures might be better served by a larger heating system that brings increased efficiency. A system like this can handle larger outputs in bigger dwellings while keeping your energy costs in check.

Smaller homes that are located in more moderate climates might do well with portable heaters or a smaller system that can do the basics well without the need to operate for long periods of time.

Pick and Choose

When you turn on your heating system are you able to heat only the rooms that are being used or does it warm up the entire home? Why are you warming up rooms that no one is using? A good way to increase your energy efficiency is by utilizing open and shut vents that can be adjusted accordingly. If there is heat being distributed throughout the whole house, it’s going to take longer for the room you are using to become comfortable.

When you can steer the heating only into the room or rooms that are being used, they warm up faster and you can shut the system down sooner. Does your current heating system have this capability?

Energy Consumption Options

The type of fuel that you are using to heat your home can also have a serious impact on the costs related to running the system. Most heating systems run on heating oil, propane, natural gas or good old fashioned electricity. Each of these comes with a price tag that can get pretty steep based upon how often you are running your system to keep your home warm.

So which of these does your system employ and is it the best possible option based on how often you need to turn on the heat? You should do a cost-analysis comparison between what you are using now and another alternative over the course of weeks or months in which you operate your heating. You might find that your current fuel is a much more expensive option than other choices that exist.

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