Homeowners have noticed how expensive it has become to keep their houses comfortable. In recent years many have remained indoors for much more extended periods, necessitating more prolonged use of their HVAC systems to keep the atmosphere comfortable, especially during summer and winter months when the weather is most extreme. Rising energy costs also mean that utility costs have gone up for most households, hence the need to come up with cost-cutting measures that do not require sacrificing much comfort.
Change the Thermostat
Turning up or down the temperature on your thermostat by just a couple of degrees can make a noticeable difference in your utility bills. This small change may not affect your comfort level much, although you can often make up for it in simple ways like wearing socks and a sweater when it is cold. You can even lower the temperature in winter by as much as 10-15 degrees when sleeping for even more savings. At this time, you will be under the covers, so you will not need as much heat, and it will, on average, be for about eight hours a day.
Ideal Temperature Range
There is a temperature range within which you will find that your HVAC system is running most efficiently. This means it will consume the least energy, allowing you to save on utility costs. You can discover this through trial and error as you reduce the temperature on your thermostat and review your bill. You can also consult with your HVAC technician when he comes in for maintenance work. Some systems may also detail this information in the manual.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
Upgrading to a programmable thermostat will allow you to control better how your HVAC system works in different rooms. You can zone your home, allowing the system to only regulate the temperature at certain times and in specific rooms. Rather than waste money heating up or cooling the entire house, you can focus on just the rooms you and your family spend time in and when you are occupying them. The amount you spend on such an upgrade can often repay itself in energy savings within a year.
You can also save money on heating if you ensure the structure is adequately insulated. Check every level to ensure there are no cracks or gaps where warm or cool air is escaping. Pay special attention to air ducts and around windows and doors. Do the same for electrical outlets and baseboards. Weatherstripping your windows can also make for some good savings. Keeping your windows covered during summer can also help to insulate rooms further. Coverings like curtains and blinds can help block sunlight that will heat the room and stop cold air from escaping.
Ensure Regular Maintenance
Having an HVAC technician carry out regular maintenance will save you money down the road on more expensive repairs. When you have a well-maintained HVAC system, you will also have helped prolong its lifespan, meaning you get more use out of it before needing a replacement, which is another costly expenditure. A well-maintained system will also run more efficiently. The AC unit will not have to work extra hard to achieve and maintain the desired temperature. Even minor tasks like cleaning out ducts can help improve airflow and reduce dirt levels that put pressure on a unit.
Ensuring a regular schedule for maintenance will also help save energy costs.
Upgrade your HVAC System
Modern HVAC systems are far more efficient than older models. They run more efficiently and come with technology that makes monitoring and controlling energy use easier. Smart thermostats and integrated dehumidifier systems are among such technologies that can help your HVAC system perform optimally for longer.