HVAC air vents on the roof of an industrial building

Maintaining a comfortable indoor temperature can get expensive during hot and cold spells. Let’s look at some easy ways you can save a little bit of money on your monthly utility bills.

1. Unplug Unused Appliances

Unplugging your appliances while not in use eliminates their electricity draw. While not a huge money saver, any bit helps when you’re pinching pennies.

Make the task easier by plugging your devices into surge protector power strips. These are convenient since you can flip off the master switch when you are not using it.

This way, you won’t waste any energy on standby.

2. Use Energy-Saving Appliances

Reducing your energy bill is not difficult if you invest in appliances that are specifically designed to use electricity efficiently.

You don’t need to go out and replace all your appliances, but when it is time to buy new ones, choose models that have an ENERGY STAR® label on them. These appliances are certified to save energy without compromising functionality.

3. Take Measures to Prevent Heating and Cooling From Escaping 

If your home is several decades old, chances are that the cooled and heated air from your HVAC system is leaking out of your home through cracks, doors, windows, a poorly insulated attic, or other small spaces.

You can call a professional to have an energy audit done. Or you can take a look around yourself and see if you notice poorly sealed windows, doors, or deteriorating insulation. 

You can seal windows and doors yourself with caulk from your local hardware store.

A professional conducting an HVAC energy audit

4. Invest In a Programmable Thermostat

Both programmable thermostats and smart thermostats can set a schedule for your HVAC system that maintains a comfortable temperature setting when you are scheduled to be home and saves a bit of energy while you are away by either raising or lowering the setting automatically.

Did you know that you can reduce your bill by about 2% for each degree you lower the temperature on the thermostat?

5. Save Energy with Smart Temperature Control 

Smart devices do more than just offer comfort and convenience to users. A smart HVAC control can limit the energy used while maintaining a comfortable temperature throughout your home.

A smart thermostat is adjusted to optimize HVAC costs

These are ideal for portable AC or a mini-splits.

Smart AC controllers can also allow you to set smart triggers. For example, if the temperature reaches a specific point, the HVAC system will slow down automatically.

6. Invest In Ceiling Fans 

Ceiling fans will help move air around and keep it from stagnating. This is especially helpful during the summer season when hot indoor air rises towards the ceiling.

Using a ceiling fan will push that hot air back down to the ground and will help take some of the strain off your AC system.

7. Get HVLS Fans 

High-volume, low-speed (HVLS) fans offer slow and steady airflow and also place less strain on your HVAC system.

By placing less strain on heavy moving parts, it lowers maintenance costs compared to high-speed fans.

While HVLS fans will not reduce indoor temperatures drastically on their own, they can be highly efficient when combined with commercial air conditioners because they’re designed to circulate cool air from AC systems through rooms better than a standalone unit.

8. Choose Lighting Options Wisely 

Take a look at the types of lightbulbs you have in your home. Halogen and incandescent bulbs use more electricity and emit more heat.

Not only are they more expensive to use, but they also add heat to your home. It is not an ideal situation when you are trying to cool things down.

Swap them with energy-efficient LED bulbs instead.

9. Inspect and Upgrade Your Windows 

Upgrading your windows can remove some of the strain from your HVAC system and, in turn, save you money.

25% to 30% of heat is lost through old windows. If you don’t want to remodel your home just yet, consider weatherproofing or sealing it instead.

10. Install Shades for Your Windows

According to the US Department of Energy, more than 70% of sunlight enters our homes in the form of heat. That means the rooms in your house exposed to direct sunlight will get warmer, no matter how hard your HVAC system works.

Prevent that from happening by placing a shade over all of the windows. It will block most of the sunlight and prevent your house from heating up.

You can also prevent the sun from heating your home by placing insulated cellular shades over the windows.

These are made of pleated materials that fold up like an accordion right at the top of the window or at the bottom, depending on how they are designed.

The insulated version contains several layers in a honeycomb crisscross section, and some can be adjusted from the top, bottom, or both.

These shades also have the highest R-values out of all window coverings because air pockets in the cross-section act as insulators, reducing heat conduction through windows.

11. Change Your Air Filters Regularly

Dirty filters will make your HVAC system work less efficiently. Worse yet, it can even cause damage to your equipment.

For those with central HVAC systems, be sure to change your filter monthly. If you have a specialized 4’’ or 5’’ filter boot, you can change it every 6 months to a year.

For mini-splits, remove and clean your filters every six weeks.

A homeowner replaces an air filter to improve HVAC efficiency

12. Have Your HVAC Systems Serviced Regularly

Remembering to change your furnace filter and having your system serviced on a regular schedule are the two best things you can do for your HVAC system.

Many HVAC companies recommend service every year, or sometimes twice per year (spring and fall). However, if your HVAC system is newer (less than 10 years) and has been running without problem, you can safely have it serviced every other year.

If you have an older system, you should really have it checked out annually to catch any small problems before they become big ones.

Pro Tip: You can save some money by having both your furnace and AC tuned up in one service call. ACs need to be serviced on a dry day (no rain) with an outdoor temperature above 60°F.

Furnaces can be serviced any time of year, but you will need to turn the heat on for a moment. That might be a little unpleasant in the summertime but it will save you a service call to check it in the fall.

13. Fix Damaged AC Ducting 

If your home was constructed within the last ten years, chances are the ductwork is sealed quite well.

However, if your house is older than that, 40% of your cool air is probably escaping through gaps in the duct joints.

You might be able to seal some of the gaps yourself if they aren’t too bad. Pick up some DC-181 foil tape, mastic sealant, and a small paintbrush from the hardware store, and you’ll be able to take care of most of it.

14. Plant Trees Outside Your Home 

Trees block sunlight, keeping your home cool. Also, consider planting a leafy tree over your air conditioner to prevent it from heating up, thus increasing efficiency.

Just make sure that leaves and branches do not touch the unit. The foliage will block airflow and damage your AC irreparably.

Pro Tip: Don’t pick a cottonwood tree. Their seeds will coat your AC condenser and restrict airflow. You can easily remedy this by spraying them out with a garden hose but it can be a pain to deal with.

15. Install an Energy-Efficient HVAC System 

When it comes time to replace your furnace or AC, consider an energy-efficient option.

If your current equipment is running fine, don’t replace it prematurely, but be sure to go with a high-efficiency model when it’s time to upgrade.

16. Schedule HVAC Inspections Before the Season Starts

Some HVAC companies offer a deal on tuneups if they are done before the busy season starts.

Wherever your location, this is something to look into. And as mentioned above, try to go for a day where you can get both your furnace and your AC tuned up on the same day to avoid an extra trip charge.

One Comment

  1. “There are many benefits of having your air conditioner regularly serviced as you mentioned in the blog, make sure to have yearly 1 maintenance done by a professional.

    I suggest changing filters and informing your service provider if you notice any issues in the system. Thank you for sharing the article.”

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