Keeping our homes comfortable is a high priority. That’s why we have HVAC in the first place. Unfortunately, sometimes the bills for that comfort can get out of hand. If you feel like you’re paying too much for electricity because of your HVAC, it may be because you’ve fallen victim to one of these common mistakes that create excessive electric bills.
Poor Thermostat Management
We all have our own preferences for temperature, and most of us feel that those tendencies can’t be changed. The fact is that we can make gradual adjustments to the thermostat at home and find ourselves getting used to a slightly cooler wintertime setting and a slightly warmer summertime setting. Each degree you come to tolerate will pay real dividends at the end of the month.
It’s also very helpful to change the thermostat during the day when no one is home. You can used a programmable thermostat to make the changes automatically or install a smart thermostat that lets you adjust it remotely.
The more resistance there is to the movement of air in your HVAC, the harder the fan must work. That requires more electricity. Replacing dirty filters on a regular basis reduces the strain on your fan and lets your system operate with less electricity. Buy quality filters and make sure you replace them on the manufacturer’s schedule. It might help to set a monthly reminder on your phone. Whatever method you choose, you’ll see a difference in your power consumption and your home’s cleanliness.
Lack of Servicing
A very common mistake is for homeowners to think that their HVAC system is just fine as long as it’s running. The fact is that an annual AC tune-up can help the system run more efficiently, saving you money. It will also help the technician identify potential problems in the making so that you can make repairs instead of waiting until the system shuts down some hot afternoon. There’s no question that good heater maintenance and regular care of your air conditioner will be good for your checkbook all the way around.
Obstruction of Vents
The key to good movement of air in your home is having adequate clearance at both the registers and the returns. Too many people allow furniture, rugs, drapes, and other items to block their vents, creating a backup of air that makes some rooms much cooler and others much warmer. Make sure that all your vents and returns have adequate air space around them and that they are fully opened.
Too Much Sun (Or Not Enough)
Solar energy is a very important factor in your home’s comfort. It’s very easy to forget how much influence it has on the home’s temperature, especially during the day when no one is home. In the wintertime, you should open as many blinds as possible so that the sun’s heat supports your home’s heat. During hot weather, close blinds and keep the sun from working against your climate control. Of course, don’t leave blinds open if you have concerns about the safety of your family or belongings.
Cooling and Heating Empty Rooms
You don’t put gas in a car nobody drives, so why would you pour expensive air conditioning or heat into a room that nobody uses? Close off vents and doors in those guest rooms and spare spaces that aren’t occupied. Leave their blinds pulled all summer long and open all winter. If the room doesn’t have a door, consider installing one. It may pay for itself in the long run with the energy savings you realize from cutting that room off.
Sticking with an Old System Too Long
Even with the best management, sometimes your system may just be too old. Its top performance 15 or 20 years ago will not be as good as the energy-efficient units being built today, so stop pour energy money into an outdated setup. There comes a point where AC replacement is better than dragging along with an old system that may need AC repair on a regular basis on top of gobbling up a lot of electricity. If your system has some age on it, start thinking about replacing it with something that will draw less power.
There’s no reason to feel like you’re permanently stuck with high energy bills. You can make changes that will really show up on your meter without making your home any less comfortable. Take a moment to learn from what C.J.’s Heating and Air can tell you!