Saving On Your HVAC Bill
Want to make your home more comfortable, help the environment and save money? Of course you do. Here are the things that you can do to save on the heating and cooling costs of your home. Some are cheap or free and some cost a bit more. All of them will more than pay for themselves though.
The weatherstripping on your windows and doors will not last forever. It will eventually crack, shrink and generally deteriorate. You can save up to 20% on cooling and heating costs on an old drafty home by replacing weatherstripping. If the weatherstripping on your home is deteriorated, you should replace it as soon as possible. In addition to the loss of energy, your old weatherstripping will also be letting in moisture and possibly insects.
Replacing weatherstripping is a very simple process and is one of the cheapest repairs you can do for your home. Depending on the type you have and want to replace, it will cost about $5 to $30 to replace the weatherstripping on each door or window.
Use A Programmable Thermostat
You can save an easy 10 percent on your electrical costs by using a programable thermostat. When you are home, set it to the temperature that you want. When you will be away, set it to be 10 degrees warmer in the summer and cooler in the winter. Then, one hour before you get home, you can have the thermostat start adjusting the temperature to where you like it.
Another great way to save in the winter is to have the thermostat turn the heat down at night. Keep it a good 15 degrees cooler at night. You will sleep better, all bundled up in blankets and you will save a considerable amount of money.
Upgrade Your Windows
Still rocking those single pane windows? You are losing a ton of heating and cooling. This is by no means a cheap fix but it will pay for itself in electrical savings and home value.
The price to replace your windows may vary but in general, it costs about $500 to install a standard vinyl, energy efficient window.
The move from a single pane window to energy efficient double panes is something that you will never regret. You will actually be kicking yourself for not doing it sooner. You get a huge energy savings and you get to say goodbye to those huge temperature swings in a room.
Increase Your Attic Insulation
If you have minimal insulation, increasing it can have just as much of a benefit to your electric bill as replacing single pane windows.
You should have 10 to 14 inches of attic insulation. Enough to easily cover your rafters. Go into your attic and see if you can see the rafters. If you can, you could probably benefit from added insulation.
When adding additional insulation to a home, most people will choose to use loose fill. You do not have to use the same kind of insulation that is already in your attic. You can either have a pro install the insulation or you can do it yourself. It is actually a rather easy weekend project. Most home improvement stores will even lend you the blowing machine for free with a minimum insulation purchase.
Introduce Slippers To Your Home Wardrobe
If your feet are warm, you are warm. Just introducing slippers to your wardrobe can allow you to keep your home a few degrees cooler int he winter. Just making the change from 72 degrees to 70 will make an impact.
Not a fan of slippers, go with socks or any item of clothing that keeps you toasty.
Replace Your Air Filter
A clogged air filter will cause your system to work much harder to cool and heat your home. Check it often and replace it as needed.
In addition to saving on electricity, you will also help ease the burden on your HVAC system, possibly adding years to its life.
If all this filter replacing starts getting expensive, consider a permanent, cleanable air filter. They are pricey at the beginning but the cost savings over time will help pay for itself. In addition, permanent filters are often superior at filtering than some of the cheaper replacement filters.
Clean Your Air Conditioner Coils
You can buy an aerosol can of coil cleaner at most home improvement stores for under $10. At the beginning of every cooling season, give the coils a spray to remove what has accumulated over the winter.
The spray cleaner is easy to use and most of them do not even have to be rinsed. Just spray the coils, let it foam up and then drip away, carrying with it the dirt. Then you simply turn your unit on and the condensation will remove any cleaner residue from the coils.
Replace Old Systems
If all else fails, it might be time to replace your system with a more efficient one. You may be able to qualify for financing plans of under two hundred dollars a month on many new units.
Sounds expensive but you can save nearly that much on your electric bill on when replacing a very old system. In addition, you may be able to get energy credits from your electrical provider and a new system will improve your home value.