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3 Ways Unpredictable Weather Can Affect Your Energy Bills
As a home owner, you may notice a regularity to your energy usage and corresponding bills. That’s why when you see sudden spikes in your bill one month, you may do a double take. After all, you keep up with your AC and furnace maintenance, you change your filters regularly, and you turn off all lights when you leave the room. So what’s the deal? Could have to do with unpredictable weather.
Let’s take a look at look at why.
- Your HVAC systems are taxed. Whether it’s a week of sub-zero temperatures at the tail end of winter or a stretch of 100 degrees during the dog days of summer, when those extremes hit, they can really do a number on the capacity of your heating and cooling systems. Why? Most systems reach their peak capacity and efficiency when temps go beyond 100 degrees or below 40 degrees. Because those systems aren’t operating at an efficient level, they have to work that much harder to maintain the right comfort level. Basically, you’re using more energy but paying more and getting less comfort.
- Your systems have to run for longer periods of time in order to keep you warm or cool. When your AC or furnace is constantly cycling, it’s sucking up energy that would otherwise not be used.
- Spikes in energy usage are more costly than consistent usage. If you’re suddenly using your furnace all day long because of a run-in with sub-zero temps, your energy bills will reflect that spike in usage and raise your bills. You’re better off using one level of consistent heating or cooling all season long rather than jacking it up and down in conjunction with the weather.
All that being said, you can’t control the weather and sometimes you just need to adjust to make yourself comfortable – especially with older adults, children and those with suffer from upper respiratory illnesses living under one roof.
Check out these quick tips to avoid surges:
- Schedule yearly maintenance for your HVAC equipment.
- Replace your old heating and cooling equipment with Energy Star units to cut back on your annual energy bill by about $115.
- Nix the portable and strip heaters, as these use the highest amounts of energy; stick with main sources of heat or your fireplace
- Change your air filters every few months, or as indicated on the box
- Install a smart thermostat to save $180 per year on energy costs.
- Seal up your heating and cooling ducts in attics, crawlspaces, basements and garages to boost efficiency by 20 percent.
When you heed these tips, you can do your part to avoid those surges in your bill that can force more money out of your wallet. Use the extra money you save to go out to eat, take a vacation or – better yet – stock up on some furnace filters for the year! Don’t forget: we offer FREE shipping in Canada!