Between snow-capped mountain ranges, icy braided rivers, and flashes of the Northern Lights, Alaskan winters are beautiful…and cold. We love the winter season and the beautiful nature it brings. The price of an energy bill in the winter? Not so much. Before you know it, utility bills can be doubling (or tripling) during the winter months, leaving you stressed and helpless on how to get it back down.
Heating Alaskan homes can be expensive. Very expensive. Especially if you have an old furnace or boiler clunking away in your mechanical room, wasting precious energy. But this doesn’t mean you can’t make small changes that could have huge positive financial impacts. The last thing we want is for you to be worrying about keeping your family warm during the winter season. There are numerous ways to keep your bill down and your toes warm, some that you may have never thought about doing.
Here are our tried and tested tips for keeping your utility bills down.
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1. Lower your thermostat slightly and wear sweaters inside
Probably the oldest tip in the book, lowering your thermostat and layering up on warm winter clothes is the easiest way to keep that bill down. It doesn’t have to mean walking around in a snowsuit all day and night. Make it cozy by layering seasonal blankets on the couch and throughout different rooms. Buy some fun socks for everyone to wear, add a thick rug by the TV, invest in some fluffy pillows and have a hot cocoa in hand! This can be an easy way to beat the bill and a way to get into a cozy mood.
2. Check that your vents are clear and heat is circulating
This is something that is very easy to overlook. We may think that it’s just a cold night, when in fact there could be something blocking the heat or a filter malfunction within the heater to prevent warm air from circulating properly. A lot of times, natural dirt or debris can accumulate in the filters, potentially blocking the hit or creating an accidental hazard. If checking the filters, furnace, or vents is something you’re comfortable with, we would recommend checking them regularly. You can always schedule an appointment with a professional local HVAC company like HeatSource Mechanical.
3. Upgrade your lighting to energy-efficient LED light bulbs
Our favorite time of the year is undoubtedly the winter season! During the winter months, we see a natural spike in energy bills because when the sun is rising later and setting earlier, meaning we use more light and energy. This is especially true when we are still in the holiday spirit with our Christmas light display up and at ‘em! All this light usage paired with the colder nights can catch you by surprise when the bill comes at the end of the month. An easy and simple fix can be switching to LED light bulbs throughout the house and in your holiday light decor (that way you can keep them up all year). LED lights are energy-efficient, long-lasting, and have a more affordable outcome.
4. Make sure your HVAC system is the correct size
To keep your home comfortable and your family safe, choosing the right HVAC system is the most important step to take this winter season. Believe it or not, HVAC systems can be either too big or too small for some homes or businesses. If it’s too small, the heat or AC won’t be able to reach the entirety of the area, leaving you with cold or hot spots that are uncomfortable. When this goes unnoticed, it could lead to an increase in bills because you are constantly raising or lowering the temperature trying to keep your home comfortable. If the HVAC system is too big you start to waste unused and unneeded energy, leading to a higher than necessary bill. Reaching out to a professional could help you make sure you have the right HVAC system for your home this winter. HVAC companies like HeatSource Mechanical offer friendly and helpful preventative maintenance for all your boiler, water heater, and furnace needs.
5. Upgrade your furnace or boiler to an updated model
Investing in choices that are good for your home, family, and monthly bills is something to definitely think about. Being from places like Mat-Su Valley and Wasilla, we want our clients to focus on getting out and enjoying the fresh air, not worrying about their next bill. We know there are a lot of options on the market, but few options remind you of why you chose them every time the bill comes in. Our Lennox Furnaces and Weil-McLain boilers keep your homes warm in the winter and cool during the summer all while being cost-efficient and reliable. Modern HVAC technology is much more efficient than clunky old models.
6. Schedule year-round appointments for regular maintenance
Regular maintenance for a furnace or boiler is much like humans going to the doctor, dentist, or a car going to the mechanic. When the winter months come to an end, the coats get put away, and the tank tops are brought out, we often forget about all the work our HVAC systems had to do all season. It is far more cost-effective to do more preventative care rather than calling a professional when things begin to break or malfunction. This means that scheduling maintenance year-round, especially in the warmer months, can make all the difference for your home and wallet in the long run. There’s nothing worse than waiting until the last minute, calling a professional right when the holiday season hits, and having to spend money replacing an old furnace when your local HVAC professionals are working overtime.
7. Invest in a smart home system
With weather and scenery as beautiful as Alaska’s, it’s easy to be scrambling out the door, barely ready, and into the outdoors. The last thing on your mind should be checking the thermostat for when you’re not home. That’s why investing in a smart home thermostat system could help you check off one thing from your daily list all while saving you $$$ on your next energy bill. A smart thermostat like our iComfort S30 smart thermostat offers remote control and active monitoring to help you save money and live comfortably. Smart Away Mode can detect whether you are at home or away and adjust accordingly. “Feels Like” technology creates the temperature you feel, not just the temperature you set. The best part? It is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant, and more.
Any one of these tips is guaranteed to make a difference in your wallets this season. Between regular maintenance and unexpected repairs, we want to make sure you are equipped with the best possible options. Join our Comfort Club membership for pre-paid maintenance at $20.75 a month, 10% off all repairs, priority scheduling and reduced after-hours dispatch fees, and many more comforting benefits.
Whatever the weather, whenever the hour, we’re ready to help you keep those winter utility bills low.
Schedule an appointment with us or give us a call today.