As a homeowner, it is easy to see spikes in your energy bill according to the season. While the air conditioning unit may be used primarily throughout the summer months, if you have an issue with your heat system or furnace, there’s a chance both your water bill and energy bill are higher than they need to be. Even before the winter chill comes along (and throughout those colder months), here are a few tips to help out if you’re spending too much on your energy bill.
Whether you are looking to save money on your existing home or are seeking tips for throwing a successful open house in the hopes of putting your home on the market and showing it to a potential buyer, making your house more energy efficient is always important.
Servicing the Furnace
A great way to ensure that you can save money on your energy bills, particularly due to your air systems, is to schedule regular check-ups with professional, experienced technicians. Having your furnace services once a year, especially before the winter months, is the only guarantee that your home will be properly heated during the coldest part of the year and allow you to use less energy. A technician will spot any filters that need replacement, clean the equipment, remove any debris or build-up blocking the airflow, and change needed filters or broken air ducts. Also, you’ll see first-hand the most efficient ways to monitor your HVAC or furnace on your own, removing the guesswork and keeping you safe from costly maintenance due to longstanding breakages.
Also, remember to change your filters regularly during the year. If you’ve noticed cold spots in your home or the machine are making strange rattling noises, the best way to spot a growing problem is to inspect the exterior. If you can’t isolate the issues, call in tech before the damage worsens.
Insulating Your Home
While many issues with your heating system, furnace, or air conditioner are likely the culprit behind wasteful energy consumption (especially if you’ve noticed you’re paying too much on your heating bill), there are other crucial steps you can take to be sure you’re not leaking air in other areas. For example, proper insulation throughout your home before the winter and summer months is the sure-fire way to be certain your home isn’t wastefully leaking heat or cool air and making your air systems work overtime unnecessarily, quickly raising your utility bills and overall energy costs.
Although a professional will know the signs of serious leaks, it’s a good idea to inspect your home for drafts of cold air around pipes, doors, windows, vents, and even your electrical outlets throughout the year. This can ensure proper energy use while also letting you know when professional servicing is needed. Be sure that the caulk around external leaks is strong. Similarly, if your home has a fireplace and you like to enjoy a cozy fire during the winter, be sure to check on your chimney for cracks and leaks, as well as keeping the flue closed.
Lowering the Thermostat
Aside from problem issues with your air system or any hidden leaks and breakages allowing wasted energy, the simplest method in keeping your energy bill lower year-round is to monitor your thermostat use. While this method may not be the most popular with your family, the truth is that merely lowering the thermostat’s temperature during the winter (and holding off on air conditioner use during the summer’s hotter days) immediately bringing your energy usage down. If you’re worried about how much energy you’re likely to use, consider installing a programmable thermostat for your home, which keeps a set temperature setting and can cut down on energy in the long run. You can save a lot of energy this way.
Aside from running the water heater or alternative heating system constantly, keep in mind that your water bill is directly affected by its use, as well. Before panicking that a leak or dirty filter is slowly diminishing your heater’s productivity, an easy way to save money is to layer-up clothing-wise with sweaters and blankets first! You’ll know when it’s time to bring in a professional to inspect your energy efficiency, whether it’s the furnace or HVAC system.