There are many reasons why homeowners should reduce energy use in their home. Not only does it reduce your utility bills, but it also is better for the environment. The less power we use, the less we are reliant on non-sustainable sources of energy. Fortunately, many of the ways we can reduce our energy use involve developing good habits. A few selective, strategic investments are worthwhile. Here are some things you can do to slow down that electric meter.
With a programmable thermostat, you can preset the temperature you prefer for various times during the day. For example, you can set it warmer during the day, during the summer, when you’re not home. Program the thermostat to lower the temperature to a comfortable level just before you return home. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends setting your thermostat 15 degrees warmer during the summer when nobody’s home, and 15 degrees cooler in the winter. This is estimated to save a homeowner over 15% in utility bills over the year. Today’s programmable thermostats have many features for homeowners’ convenience, such as the ability to be controlled remotely through a smartphone app.
Keep Air Filters Clean
Replacing your HVAC system’s air filters often helps to keep the air inside your home fresh and clean. It’s also a big part of improving your system’s efficiency. A buildup of dirt, dust and other contaminants on your air filter blocks airflow, making your HVAC system work harder and use more electricity. For optimal performance, your air filters should be replaced every one to two months — more often if you have pets or someone in the house with allergies or asthma.
Seasonal HVAC Tuneups
Keeping your HVAC system well-maintained and in optimal condition ensures that it continues operating efficiently. Worn components, dirt and dust, and blocked ducts can make the system work harder than it should or even cause damage. When your technician gives your HVAC a tuneup, they will inspect it, clean it as needed, check connections and make minor repairs. Ductwork will also be inspected for leaks that waste heated or cooled air. It’s recommended that you schedule tune-ups twice a year, at the beginning of each heating and cooling season.
New HVAC Installation
The most effective way for you to save money on utility bills may be replacing your HVAC system entirely. If it is more than 15 years old, you’re not getting the full benefit of recent innovations and improvements in the HVAC industry. Newer models have higher SEER ratings, which indicate how efficiently they heat or cool your home relative to the amount of energy they use. They also have multi-speed blowers, while older models only had one speed. You can also make sure your HVAC system is the perfect size for your home, which improves its efficiency as well.
Big investments like a new HVAC system pay off big over time. But by making a few changes such as lowering or raising your thermostat’s temperature setting, you can also see significant improvement in the amount of energy your home uses. When it comes to your home’s HVAC system, saving money on utility bills and being eco-friendly work together.