Upgrade to an Energy-Efficient Heater
No matter the type of heating system in your home, an energy-efficient option exists. The Energy Star website offers detailed information about the benefits of products it allows to bear its stamp. Consider the following about Energy Star-qualified heaters:
- A qualified boiler achieves annual fuel-utilization efficiency ratings of 85 percent or greater because of its electronic ignition, eliminating the need to have the pilot light on at all times, and because of combustion technologies that extract more heat from the same amount of fuel and use outside air to fuel the burner, reducing drafts and improving safety.
- A qualified ductless heating system can save you up to 30 percent on utility bills by allowing you to control the temperature of each zone and to reduce air loss simply by not utilizing ducts.
- A qualified oil furnace can be up to 4 percent more efficient than standard models, while approved gas furnaces can be up to 16 percent more efficient.
- A qualified heat pump can be up to 9 percent more efficient than standard new models and up to 20 percent more efficient than older versions.
- A qualified geothermal heat pump can be more than 45 percent more efficient than standard models, and through 2016 come with a 30-percent tax credit; get more information regarding available tax credits on the Energy Star website.
When deciding whether to upgrade your heater to one that offers more energy efficiency, and therefore savings, consult with your professional handyman. He or she can recommend a product for your particular home and help you do the math in terms of upfront and annual costs vs. annual savings.
Upgrade to Energy-Efficient Lighting
Traditional incandescent bulbs use a significant amount of energy to produce light, with 90 percent of that energy given off as heat. That lost energy results in lost money. Consider switching to one of the new energy-efficient options:
Energy-Saving Incandescents - Also known as halogen lights, they offer about a 25 percent energy savings and can last up to three times longer than traditional bulbs. They are available in various wattages and can be used with dimmer switches.
Compact Fluorescent Lamps - CFLs bearing the Energy Star stamp offer about a 75 percent energy savings and last 10 times longer than a comparable incandescent light. They are available in various wattages, but only certain CFLs can be used with a dimmer switch.
Light Emitting Diodes - You know them as LEDs, and they offer up to 80 percent energy savings and last up to 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. Currently, they are available as replacements for 40W, 60W and 75W traditional incandescents. Don't hesitate when you see their higher cost, as they will not only save you money on your utility bill but also when it comes to replacement bulbs. You can even wrap your Christmas tree and home in LED lights, saving money on the winter expense of celebrating the holidays.
Don't Forget Appliance Maintenance and Efficiency
Keeping your home appliances - refrigerator, oven washer, dryer, etc. - well maintained allows them to operate at peak energy efficiency. Have your professional handyman make an annual visit to check them out and tune them up, if necessary. He or she can also recommend appliances that offer greater energy efficiency if one is due for replacement.
For additional tips on how to make your home more energy efficient, whether during the winter or year-round, check out this helpful article from earlier this year.
Mr. Handyman can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service now online.
Repair. Improve. Maintain. One call does it all!