The Polar Vortex has much of the nation in its frigid grip. If you’ve done your due diligence with your twice-yearly check-up of your HVAC system, you probably have very little to worry about when it comes to heating your home during this extreme cold spell. But you may be wondering, what exactly is the effect of the extreme temperatures on your heating and cooling system? Marylanders need to be prepared for higher energy bills this winter, simply because the cold weather is requiring furnaces to run for longer periods of time without a break. Heating and cooling are the biggest part of your energy bill. Water heaters run a close second. Your furnace has been working hard these last few months to maintain a cozy indoor temperature. So have all the furnaces in your neighborhood and around your community – making energy a premium right now.
A newer, high-efficiency furnace will save you money, but be sure to check your home for areas of inefficiency. Portable and strip heaters use a lot of energy and can drive up your energy bills. Make sure you are aware of the extra stresses on energy use that will increase your costs. Harness natural energy by opening blinds to let the warmth of the sun into your home during the day, and once it’s dark outside, close the blinds to keep the warmth inside. Check your ductwork and seal any holes or seams securely to keep the air traveling through the ducts to the registers, rather than leaking out the ducts. Finally, energy companies say you can save two percent on your energy bill for every degree you lower your thermostat.
Think warm, summertime thoughts. Put a parasol in your drink, and kick off your shoes for the duration of the Polar Vortex.