Keeping Warm and Paying Less

Winter hasn’t technically started yet, but we’re already anxiously awaiting the warmth of springtime. Until then all of us in the Beverly Hills, Culver City, Mar Vista, Miracle Mile, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Los Angeles, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Pacific Palisades, Brentwood, Bel Air, Westwood, Downtown Los Angeles, Vernon, Huntington Park, Sherman Oaks, Encino area, and even the folks here at GAMA Air, will be paying whatever is needed to keep our families warm and comfortable. Would you like to pay less but stay warm? You have the power to reduce your utility bills. Let’s consider some suggestions about how to do that.

Heating the space we live in is the largest source of energy consumption in homes in the USA, accounting for over 1/3 of all annual utility usage. And now with more and more people working from home than the previous winter, that means having to keep the home at a comfortable temperature for more hours during the day. On average, the typical American household will use five times as much energy for heating as for cooling. So, to reduce your utility bills, it makes sense to focus on how you keep warm. Here are some simple and practical tips that aren’t extended projects:

  • Open your curtains, drapes and shades when the sun is out on the side of your house facing the sun to let in its warmth, but close them if there is no sun, and especially at night to keep in as much heat as possible.
  • Don’t put furniture or other items over the heat registers and cold air returns. You want to maximize the air flow of your heating system. Don’t make it work harder than it needs to.
  • Put something to stop the draft at the bottom of outside doorways to keep out cold air. This could be as simple as a rolled-up towel.

The windows in your home will have the most direct effect on your family’s comfort, more than any other building components. Why? Because of their low thermal resistance and high solar transmittance. Those are fancy words that mean that glass does barely anything to keep heat from passing right through. This is true in the winter when you want the heat to stay in your house, and it’s true in the summer when you wish the heat would stay out. The long-term solution is to install double-pane windows with a coating that helps keep summer solar heat out. The best thing glass does is prevent air from directly blowing in or out of your home. So here are some practical steps to make sure they are doing just that:

  • Replace cracked window panes, or at least put tape over the cracks until you can get around to replacing it.
  • Put weather-stripping or caulk where there are noticeable gaps around windows. This applies to doors also.
  • Install a simple plastic thermal covering over your window frames to act as a very basic “double-pane” window.

Another simple step that will make a big difference in paying less is to not set the thermostat higher than 68 degrees while you are home. Does that seem a little too cool? Think of what your gramma would say. “Put on a sweater!” That may seem a bit old fashioned but If your goal is to stay warm and pay less, the put on pants instead of shorts, and slippers instead of flip-flops. This is winter time! It’s estimated that for each degree you turn down heat on your thermostat, you’ll save about 4% on your monthly utility costs.

Of course, not to be overlooked is the importance of having a heating system that is running as efficiently as possible. Give us a call at (310) 651-6936, or use our online form to request a visit to tune-up and maintain your central heating system.

Need help with a question you have? Visit our Ask an Expert page and get a quick answer from the resident expert here at GAMA Air.

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