Many homeowners in Rhode island see their energy bills each winter and think, “How can I be spending this much when the house is not even that warm?”

To get an answer to that question, you should start with some other questions that will help determine just how efficiently you’re heating your home. At Soucy Insurance, we hope you will consider these tips before you turn on the heat on this fall.

  • Where is the warm air going? If you have a leaky house, you are costing yourself money. When heat escapes, cold air flows in, and you inevitably turn up the thermostat. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends scheduling an energy audit so you can find and seal the gaps.

  • When is the heat on? Are you keeping the house at the same temperature all day and night? Even when you are or sleeping or at work? There is no reason to, and programmable thermostats mean you can still have a warm house when you wake up and when you get home.

  • How often do I use space heaters? If you find that you are using space heaters to supplement your main heating system, you could be masking a bigger problem — and actually increasing your energy costs. Addressing underlying issues, such as a furnace that is not working well, can be more cost-effective in the long run.

  • Am I maintaining my system? A lot of homeowners simply forget to do tasks such as changing their air filter regularly or getting periodic examinations of their furnace. These routine tasks can not only prevent more costly problems down the road, they can help you more effectively heat your home right now.

  • Is my fireplace hurting more than it’s helping? It could be, if you always leave the damper open even when you do not have a fire going. And, if you have the damper closed, a leak can make it yet another place where warm air gets out and cold air seeps in. Check the seal around your damper and consider using a chimney balloon when you are not using the fireplace.

Taking some time to answer these questions can increase your efficiency, decrease your bills and perhaps even prompt another, more pleasant question this winter: “Is it too warm in here?”

For more information on how you can safeguard your family no matter the season, call Soucy Insurance at 762.2218.