Tired of those high energy bills yet? As winter lingers on in Southeastern Massachusetts, homeowners continue to experience high costs for heating. There are ways to reduce energy costs without freezing or putting your home at-risk. It is important to ensure that your home stays warm enough to prevent the pipes from freezing, so you should never totally cut off the heat, even when you are out of the house. Fall River homeowners insurance companies provide lots of great tips to help homeowners stay safe year-round. Make sure that your Massachusetts home insurance policy information is current and up-to-date. Speak with your insurance agent in Fall River if you have any questions about coverage or if you make any upgrades that should be reported.
Dress in Layers
Believe it or not, studies reveal that it is possible to save as much as five percent on heating costs for every degree you drop the thermostat in the 60 to 70-degree range. Energy specialists recommend a maximum heater setting of 68 degrees during the day and around 55 degrees when you are sleeping or away from home. High heat at night can lead to health issues, including congestion, dry sinus passages, and other related problems. Warm up the house before bed and then turn the thermostat down right before you pop under the covers. Dress in layers during the day, wearing warm clothing inside; and use layers of blankets on the bed at night so you can adjust, as needed.
Check the Water Heater
Another energy thief in the winter months is the water heater. It is important to maintain at least 120 degrees for sanitary purposes to wash dishes and clothing. It is possible to reduce energy costs for the water heater year-round if you keep it set to 120 degrees regardless of the time of year. It will also put less strain on your water heater and possibly help it to last longer. Your insurance agent in Fall River can also provide you with other water heater safety tips. It is important to ensure that your water heater is properly secured. Check with local regulations for Massachusetts home insurance to make sure you are compliant with current requirements.
Did you know that it is possible to save as much as $180 each year on heating and cooling costs with a programmable thermostat? The folks at Energy Star have made this claim and suggest that Fall River homeowners at least look into making this upgrade. While the initial update will set you back a couple hundred dollars, you will start saving right away. One product, the Nest Thermostat, will automatically adjust the temperature after learning your habits and following your usage patterns. It can also make adjustments based on how long your home takes to heat up or in response to drafts. Check to find out if rebates for installing a programmable thermostat are available with your local energy company. Ask your Fall River homeowners insurance company about discounts for other smart home security products.
Upgrade HVAC System
Another way to help reduce costs is to upgrade your HVAC system to something more efficient. How old is your current system? Studies show that the average lifespan of a gas furnace is about 15 to 20 years. If your system is older than that, you are on borrowed time. Not only is there a higher risk of failure, but it will also be much less efficient than a new system. Today’s Energy Star furnaces are between 15-20 percent more efficient than the standard models. Ask about tax discounts, energy rebates, and other opportunities when installing a new HVAC system. Make sure to contact your agent about home insurance in Fall River to update your policy whenever you make a major upgrade in your home.
Get Regular Check-Ups
Another important step in making sure that your HVAC system is efficient is to contact a trusted local service to perform annual check-ups. For best results, a check-up of your air-conditioning system should occur in the spring before the weather gets hot, and a check-up of your heater should be scheduled in the fall before it gets cold. Filters should get cleaned or replaced, the system can get checked for leaks or blockages, and this service can reduce or eliminate emergency calls, saving you big money. Speak with your insurance agent in Fall River about the importance of other check-ups, services, and ongoing maintenance to protect your real estate investment.
Get a Free Quote from Paul Sullivan Insurance
If you are interested in learning more about Massachusetts home insurance or if you need a new insurance agent in Fall River, contact our team. With offices located in Fall River and Wareham, we provide quality home insurance to clients throughout the South Coast region. Call today at 508-678-9611 and speak with one of our agents to get a FREE quote or to update your current Fall River homeowners insurance.