If you write a check each month for your energy bill, you're undoubtedly aware of what it costs you to run your home, especially during the peak heating and cooling seasons. The Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that half of what you spend each year on energy goes toward keeping your home at a comfortable temperature. Water heating and home appliances take about 30 percent of the bill, and the rest goes toward lighting it, running electronics and home entertainment.
While it's possible to cut the energy bills by conserving, these tips will help you slash those bills without sacrificing comfort:
- Consider a programmable thermostat. Anyone who's away from home routinely will cut energy costs using a programmable thermostat. Thermostats are available that you can access remotely from a smartphone or the Internet, giving you the option of changing the temperature for any reason.
- Make it a habit to check the air filter for the air handler monthly. This is the easiest way to drop your energy bill, prolong the life of your system and improve indoor air quality. A dirty filter slows the passage of air through the air handler that drives up system running time.
- Have your heating and cooling system serviced annually. They will use less energy, last longer and in the case of a gas furnace, operate safely. Neglecting professional maintenance could leave you uncomfortable in the event the equipment breaks down, and the cost of repair is likely to be higher than annual maintenance costs.
- Seal the air leaks in your home's envelope and check for adequate attic insulation. Exterior caulk will seal window frames and fresh weatherstripping will stop drafts coming from exterior doors. Expanding foam is useful around larger holes where pipes, wires or cables enter your home. Batt and blown-in insulation are cost-effective ways to reduce the amount of conditioning your home needs year-round.
To learn more about cutting your energy bill by maintaining your HVAC system, contact McWilliams and Son Heating and Air Conditioning. We've provided HVAC services for Lufkin and Nacogdoches homeowners for over 30 years.