If you’re shelling out lots of cash on rising energy bills (who isn’t, really?) then you may need to take a closer look at your energy usage, particularly when it comes to heating and cooling. In fact, approximately 40 percent of residential energy bills goes towards heating and cooling, says Consumer Reports.
While you can employ small changes in the home, such as turning off the lights when you leave a room, you may need something that packs a bit more of a punch in terms of savings. That’s where an energy savings plan can come in handy. Not only can this save you money, it can keep you more comfortable year round and extend the life of your heating and cooling appliances.
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Back to the energy savings plans…a big part of this is partnering with your local HVAC professional to ensure regular maintenance on your heating and cooling units. Routine maintenance is the single most important way you can keep unnecessary costly repairs at bay and keep your appliances functioning up to and beyond their suggested life span.
Regular maintenance can help catch small problems before they get worse, thus saving you precious time, hassle and money. Look to your HVAC technician to perform regular inspections and energy analyses of your heating and cooling units. This way, you can see how well your units are functioning and what you can do to better your situation. For example, your AC unit may be too small for your home, costing you more money than necessary just to keep up with an optimal comfort level. Perhaps your heating unit is too big for the house, requiring more energy than is actually needed.
Water heaters are a big source of energy waste. First off, they’re usually set higher than they need to be, usually from the manufacturer. This not only costs you more money, it also represents a risk of scalding, especially when you have small children in the house. Instead of living with the 140ºF manufacturer setting, scale it back just 20 degrees and you’ll save between$36 and $61 on your energy bill.
Next, take a look at your thermostat. Make a simple adjustment by reducing your thermostat down seven to 10 degrees lower than normal all day long (or at least while you’re away at work) and you’ll see a savings of 10 percent annually. Most people are comfortable at 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer.
Tell us YOUR ideas for saving money on energy and keeping more money in your wallet. We’d love to hear your tips. Of course, changing your furnace filters as recommended is one big way you can increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling units, translating to lower operational costs. Stock up today!