The cold weather seems to have settled in a bit finally this winter in Pittsburgh. And that might have you turning up the thermostat in your house, which will cost you more money this year.
Energy prices are the highest they’ve been in 10 years, according to National Energy Assistance Directors Association.
But there are some simple ways you can save money and heat your house.
Heating expert, Rocco Florio, walked us through Frank Ruscetti’s house in Fox Chapel to show us some of those ways.
“I would expect that energy bills would probably have doubled if I had not changed the furnace,” said Ruscetti.
“If you have an antiquated system that’s 20 years old, it is probably time to think about the energy efficiency, both electric and heating,” said Florio, Owner of Air Pro Heating and Cooling.
He says newer furnaces run more efficiently, specifically the blowers on them, and that will save you money on your electric bills. Florio says you should run the fan constantly if you have a newer furnace.
“It will circulate the heat,” said Florio, so instead of turning up the temperature, constantly running the fan could save you some money.
How much money could you actually save by just turning down your thermostat?
“You could probably save yourself 10%, a good 15%,” Florio said.
“We keep the temperature in the winter usually at 69,” Ruscetti said.
If you’re like Ruscetti, you might be surprised to hear that Florio says the optimum temperature for energy savings is 65 degrees.
Florio then took us upstairs to look at the windows.
“People don’t realize how much windows mean in energy saving,” said Florio.
He pulled out his laser thermometer to demonstrate the difference in temperature. He started on the wall.
It was 67 degrees on the wall. It went down 4 or 5 degrees when he pointed it at the window.
He showed us how indoor shutters help keep the temperature almost the same as the walls.
We asked him to do the same on plastic you can put up in the winter.
Without the plastic, the window was 62 degrees. With the plastic, it was 66 degrees.
We also asked him to show us a draft stopper.
He says they keep the air from coming in the house and a lot of people use them.
Florio brought along examples of smart thermostats, that he says can save you money because you can program the temperature to go down at night and when you’re not home.
And something else that might surprise you: don’t close the vents in rooms you don’t use.
“Keep the doors open to get circulation, otherwise it will make your furnace work harder,” said Florio.
He also says try to seal any leaks around your windows with caulk, and that newer windows can save you money on your heating bills in the long run too.
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