Today’s post is from Robby Monk, who works with Holtkamp Heating and Air. Holtkamp is a professional HVAC company in Buford, Georgia. Homeowners in North Georgia have trusted Holtkamp with all of their heating and cooling needs for nearly 20 years. Robby talks here about a recurring theme around this time of year in particular – your heating bill, and how to lower it.
Opening your power bill every month can be a frightening experience. It seems that with every month that passes by, the energy use in your home increases resulting in higher bills for you to pay. If your home isn’t operating as efficiently as it was designed to, then your home could be producing more energy than what is required in order to properly heat or cool your home. Below are ten simple tips you can follow to start lowering your energy bills today.
1. Seal windows and doors
Your window frames and the edges of your exterior doors are prime areas in which the outside air can easily make its way into your home. If you do feel a draft coming in through these specific locations, it’s probably due to old caulking. Replacing your caulk and installing new weatherstripping around these areas can create a tight seal so that your home is properly insulated around these openings.
2. Close interior doors
Rooms in your home that don’t get used often should remain closed off from the rest of the house. An open door can result in your HVAC equipment having to work harder to ensure all rooms are being heated (or cooled) properly. Beyond closing the doors of these rooms, it would also be wise to close any vents in those rooms that aren’t being used. This will help eliminate the use of warm or cool air coming into unoccupied rooms.
3. Inspect your HVAC equipment
Bigger HVAC equipment doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for your home. An oversized system cycles on and off frequently, doesn’t remove humidity from the air and kills your energy savings. This overuse can also lead to an eventual breakdown of your equipment. Hire a professional HVAC company to inspect your equipment to ensure proper load calculations.
4. Clean under your refrigerator
Believe it or not, neglecting the floor underneath your refrigerator can contribute to higher energy bills. Dust that accumulates on the coils of your refrigerator can cause the compressor to work overtime in order to maintain proper temperature.
5. Switch your light bulbs
New fluorescent bulbs use about 1/8 of the wattage of standard light bulbs. Switching your old bulbs for these more energy efficient light bulbs can be significant if you factor in the number of light bulbs you turn on and off every day in your home.
6. Unplug cell phone chargers
The cell phone chargers plugged into your wall at home use energy even if they are not plugged into your phone. When not in use, make a point to unplug your cell phone chargers to make certain you’re not utilizing any wasteful energy.
7. Be smart with your appliances
Using the appliances in your home makes life more convenient, but it can also be a strain on your energy bill. Many dish washers have the option of “heated dry”. Using this can create unnecessary energy use. Try air drying your dishes. Doing this will not only cut down on your energy consumption, but it will also help cool the inside of your home. Also, if you are looking to replace one or more of your appliances, select those that are energy efficient. Each newer appliance will include a label outlining its energy effectiveness.
8. Take advantage of space heaters
Most families congregate in one or two rooms of the home. If that is the case with your family, try taking advantage of space heaters. These are an excellent way to heat specific rooms of a home during the colder months and will help you not turn the temperature up quite as much when you are cold. Space heaters are also portable so that you can move them around to other parts of the home that are getting the most use.
9. Cover up your attic entry
Your attic can be a cold place during the winter and a hot area during the summer. That hot or cold air can easily seep into your home through your attic entry door just like it can through exterior doors and windows. Use a blanket, weatherstripping or even old shirts to cover up the edges of your attic entry. This will help maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home and prevent your HVAC equipment from working overtime.
10 . Cover up!
The best and easiest way to remain warm during the winter in your home is to simply wear more clothing. Throw on a sweater, put on socks or even use a blanket for an easy way to keep warm during the cold winter months.
Following the tips listed above is a great way to start cutting down on your energy expense. Performing the little things like those listed above consistently and over time during extreme cold and hot weather can add up to significant savings.