If 2020 is the year of 20/20 vision, that means we should have the clarity to avoid unnecessary bills and repairs before they become a reality. Here are 5 things you can do to save money on your energy bill while taking great care of your HVAC system at the same time.
1. Change your air filter.
We’re not talking once a year. We’re talking regularly. Like every 2-3 months when your system is working hard. Why? Because otherwise your furnace is going to have to work a lot harder to push air through a gunky screen, and that means you’re shortening its life. Keep in mind that a furnace is a lot harder to replace than an air filter, not to mention it’s something you don’t need to pay a pro to do for you. Heck, you can even buy a reusable air filter that you just take out and rinse off every so often, and then you’re not spending extra money or creating extra waste.
2. Keep your vents open.
We’ve all been tempted to close the air vents in certain rooms or on certain floors. It makes sense when you’re thinking, “No one’s using the guest room right now,” or, “Upstairs is always warmer, so let’s close the vents on the main floor.” What we often don’t realize is that closing the vents is not only going to make your furnace work a lot harder, just like a gunky air filter would, but it will also put increased pressure on your air ducts. What does that mean? You’re creating leaky ducts.
Leaky ducts are a terrible drain on your energy bill — far worse than heating or cooling an extra room or two. In the average home, about 20 to 30 percent of the air that moves through the ducts gets lost due to leaks, holes and poor installation. That’s a huge amount of what you’re paying for every month on your energy bill, so it’s best to keep your vents open and avoid making your ducts even leakier.
3. Get your air leaks fixed.
Like we said above, air leaks in your ducts are a huge drain on your HVAC system — to the tune of 20-30 percent. You can prevent them from becoming worse by keeping your vents open, but you can also get them fixed. Sealing and insulating your ducts will often pay for itself through savings on your energy bill. It will also help improve the air quality in your home, because leaky ducts often pull in dust from your insulation and musty crawlspaces.
4. Don’t heat — or cool — an empty house.
You’ll save as much as 10 percent on your energy bill every year just by turning your thermostat back 7-10 degrees, 8 hours a day. Do this while you’re away on vacation, when you leave for work in the morning, or even while you’re sleeping. For instance, if you like to keep your house at 68 degrees, turn it down to 60 while you’re gone. The math works out so that you save more energy by lowering the temperature than you spend by reheating your house when you get home — which means you’re saving money. You can program your thermostat to do this for you, so your house is comfortable by the time you get home from work. If you have a smart thermostat, you can control the temperature settings from anywhere using an app on your phone. If you have an old thermostat and want to upgrade, contact us!
5. Give your HVAC system some regular maintenance.
Think about some of the things you use every day, like your car or your bathroom sink. How often do these things need attention, maintenance or even a little sprucing? Usually pretty often. Your HVAC system is the same way. It puts in a lot of work, and it needs a little TLC in return. Giving your HVAC system maintenance 1-2 times a year from a trained professional will help it do its best work for you. In return, a more efficient system will cost less each month, last longer, and give you a more comfortable home.
Make use of these tips to save money on your energy bill this year. If you have any questions about how to apply any of these tips, feel free to get in touch! We’re more than happy to help. Happy New Year!