Be Smart with your Thermostat: Electric Furnaces and Electric Zonal Heat (Baseboards, in wall, or ceiling cable)
Turn down your thermostat while sleeping or away from your home. Install a smart thermostat to make sure your home is comfy again before you wake up or return home. Setting the heat at 55 when you’re sleeping or away from home could save as much as 10% on your heating costs.
Be Smart with your Thermostat: Heat Pumps
Ask your heating contractor, or call Flathead Electric to find out how much you can turn down your thermostat at night or while away for the day before your expensive electric backup is turned on when you change your thermostat back to a comfortable temperature. If you want to save more install a smart thermostat that allows bigger set-backs on your thermostat and then will return your home to comfy without the energy penalty.
Wear the layered look: Consider wearing layers of clothing inside the house. It will keep your body heat in and you won’t need to turn up the thermostat.
Keep the warm air in:
- Dampers: Chimneys are designed to suck smoke out of your house but will continue suck away your comfort if you don’t close the damper when they are not in use.
- AC Units: Remove your window AC during the winter or seal over it on the inside with a cover to prevent cold air from sneaking in.
Let the sun shine in: Open the shades on south facing windows during the day to let the sun in and close them at night to keep the warmth in.
Keep your heat flowing: If you have furniture or curtains in front of your wall/baseboard heaters or register vents, you could be blocking the heat they’re delivering. Each fall, check to be sure the heaters or vents are not blocked.
Use your zone heating: If you have baseboard, wall heaters, or ceiling cable heat turn down the thermostats in unused rooms and close the door. Zone heating like this can produce energy savings of more than 20% compared to heating both occupied and unoccupied areas of your house.
Be smart with your space heater: You can save on heating costs if you use a space heater to heat where you are in the home rather than turning on your furnace and heating the whole home. Be sure to turn off the heater when you’re not in the room.
Insulate your home properly: Proper insulation will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer and more comfortable! Call FEC to discuss how much to install for an efficient home, find out if you could qualify for a rebate to upgrade your insulation, or learn about tax credits for upgrading.
- Attics: Attics are usually the easiest and the least expensive areas of the house to insulate and provide the greatest insulation benefit. Insulation not only saves energy, it has a lot to do with how comfortable you feel. FEC recommends at least R-60 attic insulation for an efficient home.
- Walls: An efficient home in our climate will have R40 or more on the walls above the ground. The next time you replace the siding don’t miss out on the opportunity to upgrade your wall insulation.
- Basements and Crawl Spaces: An efficient home in our climate will have R21 or more insulation on any walls below the ground.
Air Seal your home: Air sealing is one of the most significant energy efficiency improvements you can make to your home. Before improving your insulation make sure you have sealed it properly. Call FEC to learn more.
- Weather-stripping: Make sure your exterior windows and doors fit tightly with good weather-stripping. This will help reduce cold drafts in the winter and cool air escaping in the summer.
- Attics/crawlspaces: Hire a professional or talk with FEC about how to air seal your attic and crawlspace to prevent the comfy air you have paid to heat from being wasted heating the outdoors.
- Use a smart thermostat: For optimal heating efficiency, convenience, comfort, and energy savings install learning thermostat. These thermostats learn your preference for temperatures in your home and work to meet them while saving you on heating costs by finding ways to operate your heating system less.
- Keep it clean: A furnace with a dirty filter has to work harder to get the comfy warm air into your home. Check filters preferably every month but at least twice during the heating season.
- Seal your furnace ductwork: Unsealed heating ducts that are under mobile homes, in attics, or in un-insulated crawlspaces cause comfort issues and may direct your heat to the outdoors. Duct sealing can save you up to 20% of the electric heating portion of your bill. Flathead Electric offers a rebate to help seal your ductwork.
- Take advantage of your landscaping: You probably know that trees help improve air quality and enhance the appearance of your property and neighborhood. You may not realize that trees planted properly can reduce your heating and air conditioning needs. Trees planted as windbreaks will protect your home from winter winds and reduce your heating needs by 10 to 40%. For help with species and planting location professional arbor culturists can be found at the Association of Montana Turf, Ornamental, and Pest Professionals.
- Get yourself a fan: Installing and using an ENERGY STAR ceiling fan to circulate the air can lower both your heating and cooling costs. Be sure to run the fan on reverse during the winter to push warm air down off the ceiling.
Upgrading your electric furnace: Heat pumps are an energy efficient option for replacing your inefficient electric furnaces. Not only do they provide high efficiency heat but they also provide air conditioning. FEC offers rebates for heat pump systems installed by approved contractors.
Upgrade your Baseboards or in-wall Heaters: Ductless heat pumps are a cost-effective way to displace zoned electric heat such as baseboards, wall units or ceiling radiant heat without installing costly ductwork. These units can help you save up to 50% of the heating cost you pay with zonal electric. In addition Ductless Heat Pumps provide high efficiency air conditioning in the summer. Flathead Electric offers a rebate for the installation of ductless heat pumps in qualifying existing electrically heated homes.
Upgrade to Energy Star Windows: FEC recommends replacing your old inefficient windows with new Energy Star ones. Properly installed, energy efficient windows are warmer inside and reduce drafts. New windows can save you energy, increase your comfort, and increase your home’s value. FEC offers rebates for window replacements in qualifying homes.