Winter is here, and for many homeowners, that means switching from air conditioning to furnace for the rest of the cold season. But it could also mean a sharp change in your heating bills…for the worse. Has your home suffered high energy bills the past few winters? Want to stay comfortable without having to break the bank? In today’s blog, let’s discuss energy efficient methods to employ throughout the year — including winter — and reducing your energy bill.
Cut Your Energy Bill By Following These 7 Methods
“Energy efficiency” is a popular buzz term when it comes to heating and cooling especially. It refers to the amount of energy that your home uses — and in particular, how to use as little as possible while keeping your home as comfortable as possible. It can apply to your heating and cooling systems, your thermostat, as well as practices that you can employ in your home for energy efficiency. Here are some of our recommended methods when it comes to cutting your energy bill:
#1 – Have a Home Energy Audit
If you’re interested in boosting your home’s energy efficiency, you should start with a home energy audit. A home energy audit takes stock of your home’s current energy usage and points to problem areas and places where you could cut back on energy usage. It can be conducted by a professional or you can conduct your home energy audit yourself.
#2 – Seal Your Windows and Doors
Especially in winter, it can be important to make sure your windows and doors are well sealed. You can use weatherstripping to surround window and door frames so that air cannot get through small cracks in the seal, causing drafts in your home. You may also use window film to add a further layer to your window, preventing heat loss. If your windows and doors are exceptionally drafty, you might consider replacing them with a more energy efficient model. You’ll be impressed with how much this alone can impact your energy bills.
#3 – Seek Out ENERGY STAR Rated Systems
ENERGY STAR is a program created by an EPA to rate the energy efficiency of a variety of appliances and home features. This also applies to heating and cooling units. When searching for central air conditioning units, you want to find a system that has a seasonal energy efficiency rating (SEER) of at least 15. Furnaces should have an annual fuel utilization efficiency (AFUE) rating of at least 90%. Heat pumps should have a SEER rating of about 9 or higher.
#4 – Use Smart Technology
Between smartphones to smart refrigerators, so much of our technology is becoming more and more intuitive. This can help when it comes to your energy usage. Smart power strips can help reduce your electricity usage by turning off the power to devices not in use, even when they’re plugged in. Smart home assistants can help you to turn off lights and appliances that you don’t need remotely.
Smart thermostats are also a boon when it comes to saving energy. They allow you to program your energy usage based on your needs, and even to adjust your temperature from an app on your smartphone so that you never use more heating and cooling than you need. They can also employ zones, which allow you to set different temperatures for different parts of your house.
#5 – Wash More Efficiently
Your dishwasher, as well as your washers and dryers, can also be a potential cause of a higher energy bill, especially if you run several loads throughout the week. Instead, load your dishwasher until it is full and then wash your dishes all in one go. Similarly, wait until you have a full laundry load before running the washer and dryer. You can wash your clothes in cold water, as well, to further save energy in your washing habits. You might even air dry your clothes to fully optimize your energy efficiency.
#6 – Keep Your HVAC Units Clean
Your HVAC units can’t run at peak performance when they’re dirty. If your furnace is dusty, you’ll have to deal with an unpleasant smell when you turn it on, and your furnace will require more energy to heat your home. Similarly, if your air filters become too clogged, it can be harder for your air conditioning and furnace units to function…and thus more expensive for those units to function. Replace your air filters when they become too clogged, clean debris out of your air conditioner, and dust off your furnace before using it.
#7 – Repair Your Ductwork
Sometimes your high heating and cooling bills are a result of leaks in your ductwork. If your ducts have become loose, some of your conditioned or heated air can escape through the cracks rather than making its way through the vents in your home. As a result, it takes more energy to heat and cool your home, and your energy bills are considerably higher.
If your heating and cooling is uneven or if your home is particularly dusty, this could be a sign that your ducts are leaking. You can fix this issue easily if you suspect it might be the case by bringing a professional out to inspect your ductwork. At Service Champions, we can repair your ductwork and even replace it with a more efficient duct system.
Throughout the winter — and throughout the year — you can employ these methods of energy efficiency to save on your energy bills and even reduce your carbon footprint. Need help to cut down on your energy bills? Contact Service Champions today for more information or to get started by scheduling service.