Heating accounts for almost 42 percent of the energy used in a typical household in the U.S. Here are three ways to cut heating costs this winter in your Irmo, South Carolina, home or business.

Turn Down the Thermostat

Setting back the thermostat for at least 8 hours each day saves fuel and money. Turning your heater back 10 degrees F at night or when you are away can save 10 percent on heating bills. Programmable thermostats make this easy by automatically adjusting settings. When properly used, they can save approximately 10 percent on heating and cooling costs. Make sure your thermostat is installed away from direct sunlight, windows or doorways.

Have a Tune-Up

Preventive maintenance helps heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems operate efficiently. During a tune-up, a heating contractor will examine each element of your system. Small problems can be corrected before they turn into costly repairs. Tune-ups also enhance energy efficiency. Simply changing the air filter can reduce energy usage by 15 percent. Conversely, poorly maintained systems require up to 60 percent more power to operate.

Keep Heat In

Take time to weatherstrip, caulk and insulate. Sealing leaks can reduce heating bills by 20 percent. Approximately 30 percent of the heat energy lost in a home is through windows. Simple curtains reduce heat transfer through windows by about 10 percent. Snuggly installed cellular shades or thermal curtains can cut heat loss through windows between 25 percent and 40 percent. An added benefit is that reducing drafts enhances comfort.

During the winter when the sun is shining, take advantage of the heat. Open curtains on west- and south-facing windows. Keep them closed on windows that do not get direct sunlight and during the night.

Cassell Brothers Heating & Cooling provides a suite of heating and cooling services for residents of Irmo and nearby communities, including new installations, repairs and maintenance. We can identify areas in your home that affect energy efficiency and recommend ways to reduce heating bills. Call (803) 567-1858 today for more information about slashing heating bills and staying comfortable this winter.