The winter months can be an expensive time for the average family. Less daylight and cold temperatures can result in high energy use, which in turn leads to higher energy bills. But there are steps you can take to reduce your energy usage and costs.
Home Energy Saving Tips for Winter
To keep you and your family warm throughout the colder months while maintaining an energy-efficient home, follow these helpful energy saving tips for winter:
- Be sure that furnace vents are not blocked or obstructed. The furnace needs to draw air into the system. Any obstructions could hinder the operation of the unit and lead to increased heating costs.
- Turn the furnace on for a few minutes before winter hits. That way, if you find a problem, you’ll have enough time to schedule a service call and BGE HOME can make the needed repairs.
- Be sure the thermostat is set in the heating mode. Just setting the dial above room temperature will not activate the furnace if it is set in the cool mode.
- Change the HVAC filters regularly. Dirty filters restrict air flow, reducing energy efficiency and cause the system to work harder. Replace disposable fiberglass filters and clean electrostatic or electronic filters according to manufacturer specifications.
- Schedule a heating system tune-up with BGE HOME. Our comprehensive 21-point heating system efficiency tune-up will ensure your heating system is ready for winter.
Once the winter has started, keeping your costs down can be difficult. But with a few tips, you can keep your bill low:
- Cover and seal drafty openings in your house. Accidentally letting heat leak outside through drafty windows, doors and fireplaces could increase your heating bill. By installing energy-efficient windows and sealing your fireplace when not using it, you could save.
- Lower your heat at night or when you’re away. You don’t have to heat your home if you’re not there! When you’re gone from home or in the comfort of your bed, turn your thermostat down 10°-15°.
- Use BGE HOME’s energy calculator. Make sure you are saving the most you can by using our free tool.
Frozen Pipe Maintenance
Frozen pipes are a common problem during extreme cold temperatures. Here are a few ways to know if you have frozen pipes:
- No Water Is Coming Out of the Faucet. A lack of running water is a sign that you may have a frozen pipe. If you turn on a faucet and only a slight trickle of water or no water at all comes out, the water pipe leading to the faucet may be frozen.
- There Is Frost on the Pipe. For pipes in clear view, such as those under sinks, you may be able to see frost that has accumulated. This can also serve as a warning sign that the pipe is frozen before you try to turn on the faucet.
What Should You Do?
If you think your pipes are frozen, follow these steps to avoid flooding until a professional plumber arrives.
- Immediately turn off the water to your home in order to avoid a burst pipe and flooding inside your home.
- After extreme cold temperatures go away, exterior hose bibs that were frozen can cause flooding if the hose bib water line is turned on and there’s a buildup of ice in the line. Turn the water line to the hose bib off and keep the hose bib open until the frozen water melts out of the line.
- If you have signs of frozen pipes at your home, schedule a service call with a certified BGE HOME plumber or call our Customer Care Center at 1-888-BGE-HOME (243-4663).
If your heating or furnace is acting up, it could lead to higher bills. Be sure to schedule routine maintenance for your home’s heating unit with BGE HOME.