Your utility bills can vary throughout the year. However, there are things you can do to minimize the costs. Most households waste energy due to a lack of due diligence. Below are three ways to lower your household energy bills.
Don’t Overwork Your HVAC System
Image via Flickr by G & A Sattler
During the coldest months, it’s important never to shut your heat off. You may be thinking that by shutting it off you’re saving money, but you’re really increasing the energy your furnace must put out to heat the home fully each time.
Never turn your temperature all the way up to increase the heat immediately but instead gradually do so. However, when you are not at home keep your thermostat set to 60-65 degrees as a moderate temperature. Turning it all the way off could force your HVAC system to go from 50 degrees to 75 too quickly.
In regards to the force of the heat, ensure your vents are open. It’s ok to close a few in your home if you’re looking to force more heat into particular areas. But, if you close too many vents your energy costs will increase.
By keeping your vents clean, you can prevent dust and dirt from filtering through your HVAC system. Also, changing your filters monthly or as needed will improve airflow.
2. Keep Your HVAC System Operating at Its Top Performance
From dust buildup to loose belts, your HVAC system can be one of the more expensive energy bills you have. These issues can cause heat to escape through crawl spaces in the basement or your attic. Poorly maintained air conditioning and heating systems are inefficient and they raise utility bills. Sign up for an annual maintenance agreement to ensure your systems are running smoothly and accurately. And, if something does go wrong, the repairs are free or deeply discounted.
3. Take Care of Your Kitchen Appliances
Your kitchen appliances are another strain on energy bills. In the summer months, its best to use the microwave, toaster oven, or outdoor grill as much as possible. You’ll use less energy than using your regular oven. However, in the winter feel free to use it, as it can help heat your home. Turn your thermostat down when in use. However, make sure to keep the oven door closed, so the heat does not escape. You’ll lose up to 25 degrees each time you open the door.
Make sure you keep your refrigerator coils clean, which will help it run more efficiently and also shave off a few bucks from your electricity bill. Another money saver is keeping your freezer full. A full freezer stays colder and, therefore, won’t overwork itself to maintain its temperature.
Note that having newer appliances that are Energy Star certified will definitely help keep energy consumption lower. However, to make due with what you have, these three simple tips should show immediate reductions in your home’s energy use, thus reducing your bills.