Saving money is at the top of everyone’s minds these days. With rising prices everywhere you turn, you may be looking for ways to cut back or areas where you can save money. Energy bills are a monthly expense and probably a huge portion of your monthly budget. With warmer temperatures coming, you may be using your home’s air conditioning system more. What are ways you can save the sticker shock this summer? Check out our top savings tips below.
Check Your HVAC Unit Itself
As the seasons change, it’s always a good idea to give your system a checkup and perform routine maintenance. By doing so, you’re maximizing the efficiency of your system. The easiest way to ensure your system is working at maximum efficiency is by having clean filters. Clogged and dirty filters block airflow and can greatly reduce efficiency. Dirt and debris can obstruct airflow. Replacing dirty, clogged filters can reduce your energy consumption anywhere from 5% to 15%. Properly maintaining your HVAC system leads to better energy efficiency, too.
Check Your Thermostat, and Consider a Programmable One
Keeping your home cool and comfortable is extremely important. However, keeping your home just comfortable enough is the key to saving on your energy bills. One study found that keeping a home at 75 degrees can reduce energy consumption by 10%- 15%.
Programmable thermostats can be a useful tool in getting energy consumption and costs down. Consider times when you are home, away, and asleep, and program your temperatures accordingly. Some programmable thermostats even come with smartphone apps so you could adjust your home’s temperature from anywhere in the world. Some of these thermostats, like Nest, can be rather pricey but claim to lower electricity bills by as much as 20%.
Check Your Windows
Check the seals around your windows to ensure they are not letting in any warm air. You might find additional caulk or weatherstripping is needed to create an airtight seal. Heat gain and loss through windows are responsible for 25%- 30% of a home’s heating and cooling energy use.
Older windows with materials like aluminum are not as energy-efficient as the windows manufactured today. You may consider replacing them altogether, which also gives additional benefits like security and aesthetics. The Department of Energy estimates that switching out old, single-pane windows could save more than $100 a year on energy bills.
Window treatments like blinds and drapes don’t just add beauty and personalization to your home, they can also help save energy. When blinds are fully pulled down and closed, they can reduce heat gains by up to 45%. Curtains and drapes can be purchased that allow no sunlight through. “Blackout Curtains” as they are called can greatly help reduce heat gains on a hot day. It’s estimated that closed drapes on a window receiving direct sunlight can reduce heat gains by 33%.
Check Your Ceiling Fans
Did you know that ceiling fans use 1/60th of the energy that air conditioning systems use to cool a room? Ceiling fan usage can cut back on the need for the HVAC system to cool and can save up to 40% on energy. In the heat of the summer, make sure your ceiling fan is spinning counterclockwise. The counterclockwise direction, combined with the blade pitch creates a downdraft, pushing the cool air down. While fans don’t cool or condition the air, they can push body heat away from the skin, allowing you to raise the thermostat a few degrees while remaining comfortable.
Check Your Landscaping
Plants can provide much-needed shade to your home. Planting shrubs and trees on the south and west-facing areas of your home can make your air conditioning system up to 10% more efficient. Not only will you be saving money on the electric bill, but you’ll also increase the curb appeal of your home and help the environment.
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Call ServiceTech HVAC for Your HVAC Needs
If the tips above aren’t reducing your energy bills the way you’d like, an upgrade from your HVAC system to an energy-efficient one may be needed. The talented technicians at ServiceTech HVAC are available 24/7 for your heating and cooling needs, whether commercial or residential. If you’re in the Birmingham, Alabama area and looking for simple repairs to an existing HVAC system or a new system installed, our team is standing by ready to help. Give us a call today at 205-488-4714 or contact us online for a free quote.