When you own your own home, you know that paying for a house is more than just writing a check for the mortgage each month. You have to pay for upkeep, maintenance, and, of course, utilities to keep your home comfortable. Water, heating, cooling … those utility bills can be expensive!
Sometimes it feels like being warm in the winter and cool in the summer just isn’t worth it when you see that bill in the mail! But there are many ways you can keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank. Here are ways to reduce your heating and cooling costs!
According to the US Department of Energy, you can save 10% on your heating and cooling costs by changing your thermometer when you’re sleeping or out of the house. In the summer, turn your air conditioner off when you leave for work and turn it back on when you get home.If you have a programmable thermostat or a smart thermostat, you can program it to do this on its own. Have it start heating or cooling before you get back to the house so it’s a comfortable temperature when you arrive.
During the winter, open your drapes or blinds on the south side of your home to bring the heat into your home. Keep your windows free from trees and shrubs in the winter so the rays aren’t being blocked. In the summer, keep your blinds and windows closed to block the heat. If you have blinds, close them completely to reduce heat gain by 45%.
Your HVAC system uses energy to take air in, heat or cool it, and then push it through your home. Don’t make it work harder to get your home to the set temperature by placing obstacles over the heat registers. If you have furniture or décor blocking the registers, rearrange your room to provide a clear path for the air to circulate.
If you’re not using your fireplace, make sure to block the flu, as much of your heated or cooled air can escape through the chimney. Besides using the damper, you can install glass doors around the fireplace, or invest in a chimney balloon.
On that same note, if you have a storage or guest room that isn’t being used, block and shut off the registers for those rooms. That will make it so your HVAC system has to use less energy to get and keep the rest of your home comfortable.
Ceiling fans can be an excellent way to reduce your heating and cooling costs in both seasons! In the summer, make sure your ceiling fans are going counterclockwise and bringing cooler air down. Using your ceiling fans in the summer can make it feel 6 degrees cooler in your home, letting you increase your thermostat to 6 degrees higher. In the winter, you can use your ceiling fans to cut costs as well. If you change the ceiling fan’s rotation to clockwise and set it to low, it will bring warm air that’s risen to the ceiling back down to the living area. US News says this trick can save up to 15% on your heating bill.
When you lock your windows and doors, they are usually pulled tighter against the weather stripping of their frames. This can help seal the windows and doors from leaks and won’t let the cool or warm air out.
A dirty filter makes it hard for your HVAC system to bring hot or cold air and make it comfortable for your home. When your HVAC system is working harder, that means it’s using more energy, and that hits you hard on your bill. Change your HVAC filter at least every three months, if not every month in the hottest and coldest seasons. According to the US Department of Energy, changing your filter can lower your energy consumption by 5-15%.
In the winter, 38% of your home's heat is lost through leaks in ductwork, around doors and windows. Finding and sealing leaks can help you stop losing warmed or cooled air. This might be sealing the ductwork in your home or caulking windows. You also may need to lower or raise the threshold of your door or replace the weather stripping around the bottom. If you can see light through the crack below your door, you need new weather stripping and you most likely are losing that cooled or heated air through that crack.
Energy Star says completing regular maintenance and getting tune-ups on your HVAC system can make your HVAC system run more efficiently and provide more comfort to your home. With Airtegrity, you can get a tune-up for the mere cost of a service call fee. The contractor will tighten your electrical connections, check the heating and cooling operations, inspect the pilot system in your furnace, test the safety and limit switches, clean your burners, and more. This can not only increase efficiency and save you money on your HVAC bills but it can nip more costly problems in the bud before they cause major damage to your system.
Reach out to the Airtegrity team today for all your comfort needs!