With the winter approaching, many homeowners are looking into how they can save on energy and heating costs while keeping their homes warm and toasty. Fortunately, there are numerous energy-efficient ways we can help you heat your house that don’t take much effort on your part.
Schedule an Inspection
Believe it or not, making sure your chimney is in good working order impacts energy-efficiency and lowers fuel costs, whether you have a fireplace, insert, wood stove, or something else. Now is the time to call us and schedule your annual cleaning and inspection. If you are sticking with the heating system you currently have, a clean and functional chimney allows unobstructed air flow and proper draft, giving you the best (and more affordable) experience possible.
Upgrading Your System?
If you are interested in installing or upgrading your appliance, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, make sure that the size of whatever you are using to heat the area is appropriate for the space being heated. When the appliance is too big, people tend to burn fires at a low smolder to avoid producing too much heat – which will then increase the amount of fuel wasted and contributes to air pollution.
Due to the chemicals released when burning wood, some places may prohibit or restrict your wood-burning appliances. You may have to consider upgrading to a newer model certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They include specially design catalytic combustors that clean the exhaust gas and generate more heat. This will also help prevent creosotes from building up.
Another method of heating is solar powered. Active solar heating uses the solar energy to heat a fluid, either a liquid or air, and transfer the heat into the interior of your home. That said, if the solar system cannot provide the entire amount of energy needed, you may need a back up system. Space heaters are a common winter heating solution. They work well for heating a certain room or area, depending on the heater’s size, and can run off electricity, propane, natural gas, or kerosene. However, these space heaters if used incorrectly can be dangerous so make sure you know of all the safety requirements before use.
Are You Eligible for Tax Credits?
Homeowners that make changes to their homes in order to make them more energy efficient are eligible for many types of tax credits. These tax credits are given on a federal and state level, and are continually subject to change based on government funding. To this end, it’s important to stay up to date on your energy tax credit information for the upcoming year.
Some examples? Many modern and energy-efficient appliances are eligible for rebates and tax credits, making them more affordable in the long run. Energy appliances available for credits include washing machines and dryers, dishwashers and, believe it or not, energy efficient fireplace inserts, fireplaces and stoves. Be sure the appliances you purchase are energy star rated (we can help you with that) to be sure you get your tax credit. Similarly, HVAC systems and renewable energy system installations are also subject to rebates and tax credits.
If you are considering any home improvements that will upgrade your energy efficiency, be sure your information is completely up to date and count on our crew to set things up right.
Give Us a Call
All of us are thinking of ways to save money. Maintaining proper draft out of the chimney is a critical piece. It isn’t unusual for animals, birds or debris to get into your chimney in between annual cleanings. It’s also common for water to make its way into the chimney and provide a breeding ground for mold, as well as cracks to your flue liner. Bottom line: if airflow is restricted or compromised, your heating bill is going up. And nobody can afford that.
Give us a call today to discuss your options.