Heating and cooling your home can be an expensive monthly bill. After the mortgage and groceries, the electric and/or gas bill is usually the third highest bill people need to pay. Of course we can’t just cut the heating and cooling cost out, but we can do things to lower the cost.
1. Have your Home Checked – Calling for a Professional Home Performance Check will give you areas to improve on. These professionals will be able to tell you where your home is using, losing, and wasting energy. They’ll check your insulation, air sealing, ductwork, water heaters, the furnace/boiler and Air Conditioning systems. Fixing these problems, such as drafty windows or poor ventilation can reduce your energy costs over time.
2. Have your Heating and Air System Maintained – Getting your furnace or boiler checked, cleaned and upgraded will greatly improve the system’s function and in turn lower your bills. A dirty, malfunctioning system makes it work harder to produce output and this increases your bill.
3. Switch to Energy Efficient Products – There are plenty of products that can help with energy efficiency, Light bulbs, Geothermal heating, and Tankless Water heaters. Switching your light bulbs to LED or CFL bulbs can save tremendously in energy bills. LED bulbs only need 14.5 Watts to produce the equivalent of a 100 Watt bulb. Switching your Heater or Boiler to a Geothermal system can save up to 70% on heating and cooling costs. Switching out your old water tank heater for a tankless system can save up to 40% in water heating costs.
4. Get a Programmable Thermostat, or a “Smart” Thermostat – A programmable Thermostat will reduce costs as you can program it to lower the heat while you’re at work and come on just before you arrive home. A good tip is to lower the heat after everyone’s in bed, as they’re all under blankets, and have the heat raised before the alarm clock goes off. A Smart thermostat can be controlled by your smartphone, tablet or computer. It “learns” your schedule and maintains the heat and air temperature for you.
5. Forgo a Little – Giving up a little bit here and there will go a long way in saving heating and cooling costs. Turn the thermostat a degree or two lower in winter, and a little higher in summer. It’s no good for your wallet if you’re walking around in shorts and T-shirt in the middle of winter because the heater’s on at 80 degrees. Turn your water heater temperature down to 120 degrees from the standard 140 degree setting. Use a slow cooker, or BBQ outside more in the summer and avoid using a hot stove. Take shorter showers, use the cold water setting on your washer, and air-dry your dishes in the dishwasher instead of heat dry. Little things like these will slowly reduce your energy costs over time.
After a while your energy costs will go down and there’s more money in your bank which makes for happier homeowners.