Every homeowner wants to know how to save money, and since your heating and cooling bill constitutes about 40 percent of your electricity costs, it’s easy to see significant improvements in your bill. All you need to do is cut back on how much you spend on heating and cooling your home. So how do you go about doing that? There are several things you can do:
• Take advantage of heat that’s generated because of activities you are doing in the house. For example, cooking and taking a shower both generate heat, so you can lower the thermostat during this time. If you don’t lower the thermostat, you will likely start to feel too warm. Don’t let all that heat go to waste!
• Turn the thermostat down two or three degrees. In most cases you will not notice a two or three degree temperature difference inside your home-at least not in the way your home feels. But one place you will notice the lower temperatures is in your heating bill. In most cases, reducing the temperature you keep your home at will save you about 5 to 10 percent on your bill.
• Install a programmable thermostat. You probably don’t need the heat to be as high at night as you do during the day time. Set your thermostat to automatically reduce the temperature shortly before you go to bed and raise it shortly before you will get up out of bed. This way you don’t have to remember to change the temperature, but it will save you a lot of money by changing automatically.
• Do everything you can to keep the heat inside your home. That includes making sure the proper insulation is in place and keeping the doors and windows shut when you run the furnace. Do a check around the home to make sure there are no forgotten windows left standing open. Also have an expert make sure that you have enough insulation to keep the heat from escaping.
• Have an HVAC specialist do regular maintenance on your system. Regular maintenance is often shunned because home or business owners are worried about costs, but the reality is that they could be costing themselves more money by not having maintenance done regularly. An HVAC technician should be checking out your system at least once per year. Twice each year would be better.
• Close the curtains when the sun goes down. This tip may seem a little odd, but the sun is an important heat source during the winter. When it goes down, you lose that heat source, so you need to do everything you can to keep heat from escaping out the windows. Closing the shades after the sun goes down will help lower the amount of heat you lose from your windows.