If you’re like a majority of Americans, you are spending more time at home these days. Then on top of being home more, it’s gradually starting to get warmer outside. Between these two things, your HVAC system is liable to be running more often meaning your energy bill will go up. Did you know your HVAC system accounts for as much as 50% of your total energy bill? Being smart with your HVAC system can reduce energy costs leaving more money in your pocket. Here’s a three-prong approach to enjoying a lower energy bill as the temperatures begin to warm and you and your family are spending more time at home.
Good Energy Saving Habits
Lower power bills start with good energy saving habits. If your HVAC is wasting energy trying to maintain the temperature in your home, then common sense would tell us your bill is going to be higher. Here are a few good habits for lowering your energy bill:
Turn It Up or Down: We’re not talking about that smooth jazz playing in the background—we’re talking about your thermostat. The easiest way to reduce heating and/or cooling costs is to adjust the thermostat a little. Keeping your thermostat on a set temperature (higher in the warmer months and lower in the colder months) reduces how often your HVAC unit turns on to meet the temperature set by your thermostat. Finding a temperature that is within your comfort range, but not drastically high or low, will help avoid using too much power.
Keep Curtains Closed: This not only keeps those bored, nosy neighbors at bay, but it also reduces the amount of sunlight coming into your home. Too much sunlight can cause your home to warm more quickly, increasing your AC usage. Good, dense curtains help keep sunlight from causing the temperatures in your home to require your unit to run more.
Run Appliances at Night: Running appliances such as your clothes dryer and/or dishwasher can make your home hotter, especially if you live in a more compact space. By waiting until nighttime, when temperatures are already lower, you’ll keep your HVAC system from having to do extra work during the day to maintain your preferred temperature.
If It’s Warm Outside, Cook Outside: Growing up did your mom, dad, or grandparent ever leave the oven open after cooking to warm up the kitchen? If yes, you probably get where we’re going with this. But if not, let us explain. When you use your stove top and oven to cook, the heat from the elements radiates throughout your home warming up the air. In the winter, this is great! But when it’s warm outside, this causes your HVAC system to run more. Warmer months are a great time for outdoor cooking and giving your HVAC unit a break from the workload.
Maintaining your heating and cooling system is important when wanting to reduce your energy bill. Your unit has a big workload, and most units run several hours a day. By properly maintaining your HVAC system, you improve its operational efficiency and lower its energy consumption. Here are a few suggestions to ensure your HVAC unit is in good working order:
Change Your Air Filters: Regularly changing your air filters is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep your unit operating properly. Ideally, you would change your air filter once a month. When you go too long between changing your air filters, the filter absorbs dirt and dust that can cause air flow obstructions that may allow dirt into the system, which ultimately can damage it.
Have Your Air Ducts Inspected: It’s been estimated that about a third of the air that flows through your heating and cooling system is lost due to leaks. Having an HVAC professional inspect your duct work can ensure that any leaks aren’t losing you money. Besides leaks, your ducts could have excessive dirt and dust that can reduce heating and cooling system efficiency, as well as impact your home’s indoor air quality. HVAC professionals can do a variety of things to improve your air ducts, including cleaning them and sealing smaller holes that may cause leaks. By having your air ducts inspected every few years, you’ll maximize your HVAC’s efficiency and ensure your indoor air quality remains pristine.
Install a Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats help with managing heating and cooling energy use by allowing you to program when you want your system to be most and least active. Some smart thermostats are able to learn your schedules and preferences and adapt to accommodate them, and most integrate with your smart phone allowing you to adjust your heating and cooling settings no matter where you are.
HVAC Unit Maintenance: Having a professional HVAC technician visit your home to service your heating and cooling system at least every other year ensures your HVAC is properly tended to. HVAC technicians will inspect the unit and ensure it has adequate fluids and check the coils and other mechanical components of the unit to assure they are working correctly.
Home Improvements that Lower Energy Bills
Changing your habits as well as maintaining your HVAC system aren’t the only ways to reduce your power bills associated with heating and cooling your home. There are several home improvements you can undertake to improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Upgrade Your Windows: Older windows, specifically single-pane windows, are far less energy efficient than newer windows.
Seal Your Windows: Not ready to invest in all new windows? By sealing your windows using caulk and/or installing weather stripping, you can help reduce the amount of air leaving your home via cracks around the edges of your windows.
Install Insulation: If your home is not properly insulated, it will be more costly to heat and cool. Check your attic to see if it has proper insulation and consult with a contractor to determine if your walls are insulated sufficiently. Taking care of this problem could save you a lot of money in the long term.
Utilize Small Space Heating and Cooling Devices: Overall, ceiling fans, other fans, and/or space heaters take less energy to run than HVAC systems. By utilizing devices, you won’t have to adjust your thermostat to achieve desired temperatures.
Upgrading Your HVAC System: If your HVAC unit is more than 10 years old, it may be time to look into getting a new system installed. Many HVAC units today are much more energy efficient from the beginning than those designed previously. Understandably, this is a larger upfront cost, but if you’re planning to stay in your home for a while it may be worth considering.
Tips on Keeping Energy Costs Low from HVAC Technicians in Knoxville, TN
City Heating and Air Conditioning is proud to provide Knoxville, TN, and the surrounding areas with exemplary heating and cooling services. We have worked hard to build a reputation of outstanding customer service and satisfaction. Our HVAC company offers HVAC maintenance, installation, and repairs for a variety of HVAC Systems. Learn more about our HVAC services by calling us today at 865-938-1005.