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Q: The weather turned cold this week. I fired up my furnace and was thankful for the warmth. Then I started thinking about what it will add to my energy bill. What should I be doing to make sure I’m not wasting money?

A: Ah, yes. Cold weather. I grew up in Iowa. There’s nothing like a little wind chill to remind you you’re alive.

There are some things to remember when helping your furnace operate at peak efficiency. Here at Sinclair, we want you to stay warm while keeping your heating bill as low as possible.

Not every heating tip has to do with your furnace. Your furnace could be at 100% efficiency but if you’ve got a window open somewhere, you’re paying to heat the outside.

Your furnace is doing its job. By sealing up the windows and doors, your furnace won’t have to work as hard.

. Thermostats that are positioned close to other heat sources will cause it to read incorrectly. The furnace will activate and operate when it doesn’t need to. Avoid positioning your thermostat close to lamps or any appliances (like big screen TV’s) that generate heat.

The reverse is also true. If your thermostat is positioned in the path of a draft of cold air or on an outside wall of your home, it will read colder than it really is in the room. Find the spot in the room that gives the best reading of the actual temperature.

It won’t. And what ends up happening is you forget you set it to 80 degrees. It will run for a long time before you realize you need to turn it down. By that time, you’ve wasted energy dollars.

. Recent studies have shown that health is improved when the room we sleep in is cooler. By turning down the thermostat before you go to sleep, you’ll save significant money in energy costs. A very handy tool for this is a programmable thermostat. It allows you to choose different settings depending on time of day. This Sinclair tip will tell you more about programmable thermostats.

. No matter how big one’s house is, people seem to congregate in the kitchen. More bodies equal more body heat. Turn down your thermostat. People won’t even notice. If they do, you can always turn it up.

. Obviously, you want the temperature high enough so your pipes won’t freeze and your plants won’t die. Beyond that, a lower setting will save you significant dollars while you’re away.

. Closing curtains at night is an additional barrier and insulator. They help keep the cold air out and the warm air in. On sunny days, open the curtains to allow sunlight to help heat your room.

. Cold air settles. You want Santa Claus to come down the chimney. You don’t want cold air to make the trip.

The professionals at Sinclair are always here for you. We’re experts at everything plumbing and heating. Call today for an appointment to inspect your home for winter! 806-749-2665

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