How to Reduce Your Heating Bills This Winter

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Does it seem like your energy bills have doubled?

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Many Colorado energy customers are finding staggeringly higher energy bills this month. As much as double the previous month.

Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility provider indicated much of the increase stems from higher prices for natural gas, a commodity used to heat and power homes during colder months. Xcel has also relied more on natural gas this year, and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission has approved company proposals to recoup costs from purchasing more of the fossil fuel.

According to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, record production and consumption of natural gas has been forecasted for the United States this year. Another price bump is expected in January. And natural gas rates are expected to keep increasing each year through 2025, according to Xcel.

Luckily, there are ways to reduce your energy costs, which we’ve outlined for you below. Read on to learn more, or reach out to our Denver HVAC experts!

Heating Energy Efficiency Tips

Nearly half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. So, making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills — and your comfort. Assuming you keep your Denver heating and cooling equipment well-maintained and tuned up every year. And that your equipment is sized correctly for your home so it doesn’t run more often than it should. And if your home is insulated well, you can save real money on your annual heating bill. Below are tips from

1) Keep Up with Annual Maintenance

If as little as 1/10th of an inch of dust accumulates on your blower wheel, it can reduce your furnace’s efficiency by 20%!

2) Change Your Filter Regularly

A clogged filter causes systems to use 15% more energy so check your filter every month.

3) Install a Smart Thermostat

An ENERGY STAR®-certified smart thermostat offers more convenience, energy savings, insight, and control than manual or programmable thermostats. Homes with high heating and cooling bills, as well as homes that are unoccupied for much of the day, can save approximately $100 a year with an ENERGY STAR® certified smart thermostat.

4) Seal Your Heating & Cooling Ducts

Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% — and sometimes much more. Depending on where you live, replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR® certified equipment can cut your annual energy bill by nearly $140.

5) Install ENERGY STAR® HVAC Equipment

If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, have it evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor and consider installing a new energy-saving system

6) Consider a Heat Pump

Heat pumps are the most efficient form of electric heating in moderate climates, providing up to three times more heat than the energy they use. A heat pump in Denver can reduce your electricity use for heating by 30%-40% compared to electric resistance heating such as furnaces and baseboard heaters.

7) Ask about Proper Installation of A New HVAC System

Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with new, energy-efficient models is a great start. But to make sure that you get the best performance, the new equipment must be properly installed. In fact, improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30 percent – costing you more on your utility bills and possibly shortening the equipment’s life.

More Energy-Saving & Money-Saving Tips

Here are some additional quick and affordable ways to save energy:

  • Draw your shades or blinds to keep rooms cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter
  • Run ceiling fans counterclockwise in the summer to circulate cooler, conditioned air. In the winter, run fans clockwise to push warm air down into the room
  • Switch to LEDs, especially ENERGY STAR®-qualified products, which typically use 70-90% less energy and last 15 times longer than traditional bulbs
  • Turn off lights when you leave a room, even if you’ll only be gone for a moment
  • Fix your leaky faucets (not just in the kitchen). A leaky faucet wastes gallons of water in a short period of time, and it’s very costly for hot water leaks
  • Vacuum vent covers to allow for proper air flow
  • Get your home properly weatherized

Denver HVAC Experts Ready to Help!

As always, call Bell Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical to assist you with energy savings year-round! And be sure to check out our current specials, which include:

  • $50 off Plumbing, Heating, Cooling & Electrical Service
  • $500 off a high efficiency Rheem furnace or Heat Pump
  • Furnace tune-ups starting at $349

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