Consumers can take steps now to organize for the winter and conserve energy. “It’s November — there’s still time to prepare,” Mr. Wolfe said. Heating contractors are typically less busy right away, he said, before temperatures plummet.
Probably the most widely beneficial step: Schedule knowledgeable checkup of your heating system. A tuneup is advisable because dirty components reduce airflow, blunting performance and possibly damaging the system, in keeping with ASHRAE, knowledgeable association of heating and cooling professionals. A tuneup typically costs $200 or more, but some utilities cover the fee.
Anthony Carrino, a contractor and designer known for hosting home improvement shows on television and online, including TheBuild.television, suggests holding your hands in front of doors and windows to detect drafts, and adding weatherstripping or insulation to cut back heat loss. But, he said, be honest about your private home repair skills. Adding insulation to cut back drafts around windows is a superb idea, but unless you’re confident you’ll be able to remove and reinstall the window trim — and have it look presentable — it’s best to call knowledgeable, he said.
If your private home has a whole lot of windows, particularly older ones, it’s possible you’ll be losing energy through the glass. One easy fix, he said, is to stay clear plastic Bubble Wrap — the sort used to ship packages — over the window panes. (Spray the glass with water first so the wrap sticks.) It won’t look great, he conceded, but it can prevent money.
“Sometimes,” Mr. Carrino said, “you might have to take ‘pretty’ off the table for a couple of months.”
You possibly can consider replacing an old heating system with a more efficient model. The prices range from $4,000 to $7,000 for a gas furnace and from $5,500 to $40,000 or more for some heat pump systems, in keeping with estimates provided by contractors in western and central Latest York State.
States and utilities offer an array of rebate programs that will help cover the fee. One example: Mass Save, a program administered by gas and electric utilities serving homes in Massachusetts, offers customers rebates of as much as $15,000 for replacing older systems with electric heat pumps, which offer highly efficient cooling and heating. (The Wirecutter, The Latest York Times’s product review affiliate, offers a shopping guide to heat pumps.)
In case your heating system is failing, it’s possible you’ll need to wait to exchange it, Mr. Wolfe said. Generous rebates for home energy improvements, in addition to expanded federal energy-efficiency tax credits, will turn into available in 2023 as a part of the Inflation Reduction Act.