Winter is here—and saving energy can mean saving money each month on your bill. Here are some more HVAC tips to save energy (and lower utility bills) as temperatures begin to drop.
- Begin by setting your thermostat to 68 degrees. This way, your heating system will operate less and use much less energy. In addition, consider turning your thermostat down 5 degrees before you go to sleep or when leaving your home for a few hours. This can amount to $90 in energy savings each year. If you can afford to spend a little cash—roughly $150—consider purchasing a programmable thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature settings automatically.
- Set your water heater to 120 degrees; it is easy and a quick fix. Your water heater will not have to work tirelessly if it is set at a lower-than-average temperature. The temperature control settings on water heaters display low, medium, high, or the actual temperature. Think about turning down your water heater to a slightly cooler setting to reduce the amount of energy used to heat the water. As a matter of fact, each time you lower the temperature by 10 degrees, you’ll save roughly 3 percent on your water heating costs. That’s a savings of $7 to $10 per year! For a small investment, you can even add a water heater blanket to your water heater tank, which will insulate the tank and reduce the energy consumption used to sustain warm water in the tank.
- Make the most of natural sunlight this winter by opening your windows to warm up your home. Even more, close window covers in rooms that get no direct sunlight.
- Use cold water using your washing machine. According to a popular appliance maker, washing clothes in cold water will save you roughly $35 per year with an electric water heater and around $30 per year for a gas water heater.
- Replace your furnace’s filter regularly. Dirty filters reduce airflow, causing your unit to work harder and consume more energy. If you are using a high-efficiency filter, you may not need to replace the filter for a few months. Check with a professional for guidance and maintenance tips!
Low Cost Tips
- Install showerheads and faucets that are water efficient. Believe it or not, it really makes a difference! At 1.8 gallon per minute, water-efficient showerheads can reduce your hot water consumption by as much as 9%. You will see savings up to $5 per year for a sink faucet and $20+ per year for a showerhead.
- Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs. They cost a bit more, but you can save roughly $45 over the life of just one bulb.
- Weatherize your home in order to save up to 10% on heating and cooling costs. So, hire a professional to seal up holes by weather-stripping doors and sealing window gaps along the home’s foundation.
- Make sure your home is insulated. The easiest and least expensive way to insulate your home is to add insulation in the attic. Other great places to add insulation include unfinished basement walls and crawlspaces. When insulation is installed the right way, the average homeowner can save 20% on HVAC costs.
- Purchase appliances that display the energy savings sticker. Appliances and electronics really contribute to your energy bill. So, when it’s time to get a new one, remember items like refrigerators, washers, dryers, TVs, and computers have two price points—the item’s cost and its energy cost. The average homeowner spends $2,000 on energy bills every year. If you use an energy-saving appliance, you can save up to $80 per year.