You have probably heard a number of tips on how to reduce your energy consumption and save money. These suggestions usually include taking shorter showers, unplugging unused appliances, and turning off the lights when you leave a room. However, one of the biggest contributing factors to your energy bill is your heating and air conditioning. We have put together a list of sure-fire actions you can take to save money on your heating and cooling.
Make sure all of your vents are open
You might think that if you close the vents in one room, you will save money by not heating or cooling certain rooms in your home. Alternatively, you might be unaware that you have closed vents in your home simply because you have never checked. If one or more vents are closed, your heating and air conditioning unit will have to work harder to control the temperature in your home, thus increasing your energy usage. Open up all of your vents and you can see some savings on your next energy bill.
Change your air filters regularly
Air filters collect dust and debris to help promote better air quality and reduce allergens in your home. A clogged air filter can reduce airflow, causing your heating and air conditioning unit to kick on more often in order to keep your home at the set temperature. Ideally, you should change your air filter once a month, although you can change some air filters every 3 months. If you have pets, you may consider changing them more often.
Harness the power of nature
The summer sun beating down on your home all day can really heat things up. Consider keeping your window shades and curtains closed during the day. This will block the hot sun, and help your ac unit work to cool your home more efficiently. In the winter open those shades up to let the sun in and help warm your home.
Set your thermostat for savings
According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% on your energy bill each year by adjusting the temperature of your thermostat 7–10 degrees for 8 hours each day. While you are at work, consider setting your thermostat up or down depending on the time of year, or completely off to save money. You can automate this process by investing in a programmable, or a smart thermostat.
Locate and seal any air leaks
If your home tends to feel drafty, chances are your heating and air conditioning are working overtime to keep you comfortable. Make sure all windows and doors in your home are properly sealed, and if needed, caulk around windows and replace the weather stripping around your doors. In addition, you may consider investing in new insulation for your attic if your home is over 20 years old.
Finally, make sure to keep your heating and air conditioning system properly tuned up. Enlisting the help of a trusted HVAC professional can make sure your heating and cooling system is running properly, help detect any air leaks, and make suggestions to help you discover monthly savings on your energy bill.