Even though October is looking like it’s going to err on the warmer side, come November you’ll want to have your furnace up and running. If you’re like most homeowners, though, you might be hesitant to turn on the heat, because it seems as if heating costs are always on the rise. This week, we’ve got some energy-saving tips that can lower heating costs without forcing you to sacrifice comfort.

According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling costs account for 48 percent of energy usage in homes across the U.S, so we can’t really blame anyone for wanting to cut costs where they can. Follow these easy tips and you’ll see for yourself the dramatic difference a small change can make.

Replace Weatherstripping

If you have worn and torn weatherstripping, the time to replace is now!  Poor weatherstripping allows for warm air to seep out of your house, often without you noticing.  When this happens, you could be losing anywhere from seven to 12 percent of your heat due to poor insulation surrounding your doors and windows. Because your home feels cool even with the heat on, your natural response might be to crank up the heat. However, you will regret having done so because this will increase heating costs.

Weatherstripping is a fairly easy task that you as the homeowner can do without the help of a technician. Watch this video to learn how.

Ensure There Aren’t Gaps Between Doors and Thresholds

Similar to worn weatherstripping, if your doors aren’t in contact with their thresholds, you’re losing valuable warm air. If you can see daylight under your door, it means they’re not in contact with one another. Most thresholds have four of five screws, which allow you to adjust their height and eliminate the gap. To make adjustments, simply turn the screws counterclockwise. Make sure you don’t raise the threshold too high to the point where opening and closing the door becomes difficult. Furthermore, you don’t want the door to drag on the threshold because it will then prematurely wear out the weatherstripping.

Purchase a  Space Heater

With a space heater, you can heat the room you’re in without having to heat other rooms that perhaps aren’t being used. Gathering the family together for a movie? Going to bed? Grab the space heater. The rest of the house might be cooler, but we guarantee you’ll still feel warm. By keeping the temperature below 70 degrees, you can shave off three percent of heating costs.

If you do choose to use a space heater, make sure there is a 3-foot clear parameter around it so that nothing will fall onto it. During the winter, many house fires occur due to either curtains or bed sheets touching the heater.

Seal Ductwork Leaks

You could be losing anywhere from 20 to 30 percent of your heat due to air leaks, holes, and poorly connected ducts, according to Energy Star. Because ductwork often runs behind the scenes – in ceilings, behind walls, and attics, getting to them can be quite tricky. If you don’t feel comfortable taking this on as a DIY project, call a licensed technician instead. Doing so will avoid possible injuries and mistakes.

Should you choose to do this project yourself, never use duct tape, even though the name might tell you otherwise. Duct tape won’t withstand the conditions and will come loose early.

Schedule a Furnace Tune-Up

Don’t forgo this important task!  By performing maintenance on your furnace, you’ll reduce the risk of frequent breakdowns, extend the life of your system, lower energy costs, and ensure your warranty stays in effect! Dirty air filters and coils, a lack of lubricant on parts, and fraying belts all contribute to a poor-functioning system. When you have a dirty, clogged system, it won’t work as efficiently because it’s having to work extra hard to keep up with your demands. If you haven’t yet, check out our blog post “4 Reasons to Schedule Your Furnace Tune-Up.”

For information or assistance with HVAC efficiency, give Interstate Heating & Air Conditioning a call at 405-794-8900.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to learn more about maintaining a safe and energy-efficient home. Don’t forget to schedule your fall furnace tune-up for the upcoming cold season. Schedule service online or give us a call!