Thursday, October 29, 2009

Are You Already Complaining About Heating Your House?

I am sure you have heard it already this year.

Is it cold already?
My heating bills are going through the roof.
We can't afford to pay these electric bills.
It is too hot up stairs. It's too cold in my house.
There is too much snow. How long will this cold weather last.

One thing is for sure: we Americans love to complain about the weather and how it affects our lives in every which way. It will never be just right.
In the summer it is too hot and you pay too much for the electricity to cool the house.
Then in the winter it is too cold and you spend an arm and a leg to heat the house.
One thing is for sure. Where ever you may live the weather always has an impact on how you live.

How you choose to live with this is up to you and you only.

So before you start complaining this winter... What have you done for your house lately?
If you haven't added any insulation recently? Cold walls and ceilings in the winter mean you have poor insulation. Is there a lot of ice forming on your roof or hanging down from the gutters?
This is another indicator of inadequate insulation.

If you are a home owner, did you know you can get tax credits for installing or adding insulation? Keep your receipts and ask your accountant. Get an estimate from a professional. You never know what the cost might be.
If you rent, tell your land lord. What can it hurt? The most he can say is no. Then you can start looking for an apartment that is more energy efficient. (if there is such a thing)

Now how about your heater? Is it over ten years old? Technology has improved since then... like it does every year. There are heaters out there that are not only efficient in heating, but also use less energy. Wow! Double the savings! And then there are the credits and incentives also. That's adding up to a no-brainer for the why not.

Now replacing the heater is still a big investment, but one with a payoff that will last for years to come.

So you are in no position to replace the heater. When did you last get it cleaned? If you do no maintenance at all, over time it will lead to an inefficient heater.
If anything at all, at least change the filter.
Preferably, get a professional cleaning and inspection done to insure that the heater is running at its optimum. Reputable companies will usually make proper recommendations.

There are no tax credits or government incentives to maintain your heater. But I say knowing that you've done everything within your budget to keep your heater running efficiently is green enough for me.

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