It’s not unusual for your energy bills to go up during the winter and summer months, but perhaps the increase is a little extreme. This could be a sign of an inefficient HVAC system or an inefficient home. If you want to lower your bills this year, consider the following steps.
SWITCHING TO SOLAR
Photovoltaic systems have become more affordable in recent years, but before you ponder a switch, you’ll want to take a few things into account. For one thing, you’ll probably need a professional to evaluate your home’s solar energy potential. This potential varies based on region.
In most cases, homeowners do not rely entirely on solar power but rather have a back-up system installed. Even so, solar energy provides big savings, and you can receive incentives from the state for utilizing it.
GETTING REGULAR TUNE-UPS
If switching to solar is too great a step, you should focus on making your current unit as efficient as possible. Every HVAC unit, whatever its age, needs regular maintenance: ideally, an AC tune-up in the spring and a heating tune-up in the fall. Small issues that compromise performance can be detected in a tune-up. It can also cover:
- Thermostat calibration
- Coil cleaning
- Air filter replacement
BUYING A SMART THERMOSTAT
Let’s say your HVAC system is running smoothly as can be. Still, you could be hurting yourself by having it run continuously. This is where a programmable thermostat comes in. Use it to create a heating schedule for those times when your home is actually occupied.
Even better, you could buy a smart thermostat, which will automatically control the temperature based on your preferences and even tell you what are the most efficient temperature settings.
Lastly, we want to mention that drafty homes are a drain on many people’s wallets. Seal up the cracks and openings in doors, windows, and the attic using foam tape, metal strips, and various other materials.