As was evident in the Midwest recently, the winter is here in full force and that means your furnaces, boilers and heating systems are about to hit the brunt of the cold months ahead. No matter what heating source you use, whether it be natural gas, electricity, oil or even wood, there are 13 key facts all homeowners in the U.S. must know to not only reduce their heating bill, but increase the lifespan of these expensive appliances.
1. More than 90% of the 116 million homes in the United States are expected to have higher heating costs this winter compared with last winter (U.S. Energy Information Administration).
2. EIA projects that average household expenditures for homes heating with natural gas will total $679 this winter, a 13% increase over last winter's average, but 4% below the average of the five previous winters (U.S. Energy Information Administration).
3. Homes heating primarily with propane are expected to spend an average of $1,666 (9% more than last winter) (U.S. Energy Information Administration).
4. Homes with electric heat are expected to spend $909 (2% more), and homes using heating oil are expected to spend $2,046 (2% less) (U.S. Energy Information Administration).
5. ACEEE says that if you turn your thermostat down 10 degrees when you go to work and at night (for at least 16 hours a day), you can save about 14% (ACEEE).
6. You can lower your energy costs by 3-5% if you lower your water temperature by 10 degrees (U.S. Department of Energy).
7. Saving $75 a month represents a $900 savings each year. Over the life of a home, those savings equal $9,000 at year 10, $18,000 at year 20 and $27,000 after 30 years of reducing energy consumption.
8. Many regions in the U.S. saw record low temperatures this winter as part of the polar vortex that swept through the U.S. (CNN)
9. The average price to install a boiler is $4,321 (ImproveNet).
10. A typical furnace lasts about 20 years and the older it is, the less efficient it is (Carrier).
11. A furnace’s, boiler’s or water heater’s AFUE rating can tell you what percentage of fuel is being used for heat and what percentage is being lost (Carrier).
12. Appliances that use energy even when we shut them off are called Power Vampires. An easy way to prevent this is by using power strips.
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