Winter and summer are the two seasons when utility bills are the highest due to the use of our heating and cooling systems. As winter leads into spring, the bills start to go down because the furnace cycles less due to the weather becoming warmer and less heat is needed. The question is “how to continue to lower those bills as the cooling season approaches?”
It seems like they start to go down only to go right back up again once you begin using your air conditioning. Here are a few money-saving tips to use less energy and keep your utility costs low at the same time. These are easy to implement and anybody can do it regardless of your budget.
Look for Drafts
Drafts let your heated air out which makes your furnace cycle longer to re-adjust the indoor temperature. One way to combat this is to take a lit candle and pass it over windows and doors to find air leaks. The flame will flicker when it meets air and will tell you that it is not properly sealed. Sealing air leaks will block your heat from escaping and allow your furnace to cycle less frequently.
Seal Air Leaks
Check the weather stripping on the inside of door frames to see if it is worn or needs replaced. If it is worn, it will not create a tight seal when the door is closed to prevent air escaping. Latex caulk applied in a thin bead in the small cracks and gaps around door frames helps to block air leaks as well as a rolled up towel placed across the bottom of the door.
Lower Your Thermostat
As the temperature outside warms up, you will need your heat less. If you do not have a programmable thermostat you can manually adjust the temperature for times when you will be away or sleeping. Lowering your thermostat by one or two degrees for at least eight hours will save energy and money and you probably won’t even feel the difference.
Open Curtains to Sunny Windows
While it may not be warm enough to turn off your heat yet, you can still use less energy by lowering your thermostat in the morning and opening the curtains in rooms that get direct sunlight. On sunny days, the sun’s rays reflecting off the glass allows heat transfer through the windows warming up the room. It’s geothermal heat and it’s free.
Use a Timer for Appliances
Kids can help save energy by turning off lights and electronics when they leave the room. A timer switch for lights is a great energy-saver as well as utilizing the sleep function on TVs and other electronics.
A utility strip used for appliances can easily be turned off using the switch, ensuring that everything is off and no current is cycling through. Remind older children to keep doors and windows tightly closed. Leaving the door open while coming in or out allows precious heat to escape and increases the time the furnace cycles before it turns off.
Contact ABA Heating and Cooling for more tips on saving energy and for expert AC Repair and Installation in Austin.