Every year starts with good intentions of improving upon the previous year. One of the most popular resolutions is to save money and be more budget conscious. One of the biggest factors to your budget is household expenses—according to Angie’s List and Energy Star, the average American household spends more then $2,000 a year on energy bills.
Here are some steps to help you save on heating and air conditioning this year and the years to come:
- Be Blinded. Your blinds not only block the sun’s light from coming in, but also the heat. So, in the winter, be sure to open your curtains and blinds to allow the sun to warm your house naturally. When the sun goes down, close the curtains/blinds to add insulation to the windows. The same for the summer—use curtains/blinds to block the sun’s rays from overheating your home (but not necessarily black out the natural light).
- Seal the Leaks. Drafty doors, fireplaces and windows can be an energy sucker in the winter, so seal them with caulk or weather-stripping. You may consider evaluating your insulation to see if you need to add more in certain places to help with heating and cooling costs. Another consideration is your attic and crawl space—you don’t want your heat/air seeping into where it isn’t needed.
- Thermostat = Do Not Touch. Constantly messing with the thermostat is messing with your budget. You may want to consider a programmable thermostat that will automatically adjust temperatures in your home at preset times (i.e., turn down the heat while no one is home, etc.).
- Fan Exhaustion. Constantly running the exhaust fan in your kitchen and bathrooms? Bad idea. Using these exhaust systems only causes your heating/cooling system to work harder, which means more money.
- Fanatical Fandom. Consequently, using ceiling fans help keep the air moving, thus keeping you cooler in the summer months. You can set the thermostat higher and still stay comfortable. (Each degree higher than 78 degrees will save you 5 to 10 percent on air conditioning costs.)
- Experience Isn’t Necessary. If your heating/cooling system is more than 10 years old, it might be time to replace it with more energy-efficient Energy Star-qualified systems. Plus you’ll be doing better for the environment replacing your older system that uses Freon refrigerant with a new system that uses Puron refrigerant.
- Embrace the Shade. Ensuring that your air conditioning unit isn’t drenched in sunshine will help keep it from constantly running. Using a fence, paintings or a building will help keep it cool, while allowing for air movement around the unit. The same is true for windows—using trees for share is the most effective.
- Slow it Down. In the summer, lower your air conditioner’s fan setting—this will allow the unit to remove more humidity, thus boosting comfort in your home while saving energy.
- Lighten the Room & the Bills. Using CFL bulbs not only cut lighting costs in your home, but they also cut the cooling costs because they give off very little heat! (Did you know that 90 percent of the electricity used by an incandescent bulb is converted to heat, not light?)
- Make Routine Maintenance Routine. Make it a routine habit to check your furnace and air conditioning filters monthly and clean or change them when necessary. (Having dirty filters can increase your energy costs by at least 7 percent.) The same with maintenance—Proper maintenance of your heating/air conditioning unit can increase the lifespan to 20 years. Investing in a maintenance program through Air Specialist will help your system stay in shape for many years.
Speak with an Air Specialist technician today for more tips to help you stay on budget in 2016!