One the most expensive aspects of owning a home is keeping interiors at a comfortable temperature. A long list of potential issues, from extreme seasonal weather to light structural damage, are extra taxing on HVAC appliances, and causing them to run less efficiently. It’s no surprise that heating and cooling consistently comprises the largest percentage of monthly electricity and natural gas bills. On the bright side, several of these inefficiencies can be addressed at little to no cost to your family. With summer heating up and fall just around the corner, it’s a prudent time to make climate control in your home as cost-effective as possible. Read on for ways to get started making your home comfortable and cheaper to maintain.
“It’s possible to seal your home with little to no cost to your family.”
Seal up every corner of your home
One of the largest contributors inefficient HVAC performance is air drafts. Damage to your home’s perimeter seal, typically in the form of gaps around doors and windows and cracks in the home’s walls, allows for a free flow of air in and out of your home. These perimeter gaps are responsible for heat loss during colder months and cool air escaping during the summer.
As a result, home owners see higher natural gas and electricity bills as their HVAC systems work overtime to compensate for an inefficient home. You can address many of these leak spots over a few weekends by applying caulk to problem areas and tightening up entry points with weather stripping, according to U.S. News & World Report. If you’re interested in making a larger investment to prevent unwanted air flow in and out of your home, consider high-performance windows or paying to have your home professionally sealed.
Treat HVAC maintenance like a priority (including DIY)
Another way to keep your home at optimum comfort levels and keep your monthly expenses under control is to perform diligent maintenance on your HVAC systems. That’s Good Housekeeping recommended that homeowners include basic upkeep at the top of monthly to-do lists and make sure appliances receive sufficient attention from trained professionals.
Simple DIY tasks like changing ventilation filters at timely intervals or wrapping heaters and pipes in insulation can make a big impact on the bill your family gets from the electric and natural gas providers. You should likewise commit to scheduling maintenance at regular intervals through out the year. Timing out maintenance visits before the hottest and coldest months of the year will ensure you maximize your HVAC maintenance.
Find ways to warm up or keep cool for less
Sometimes you and your family will need to get creative to get help keep your utility bills as low as possible. Changing up your daily habits and fiddling with the thermostat can create opportunities to save. During the summer, for instance, utilizing fans can help you offset your AC use and shave electricity bills by keeping the thermostat below 68 degrees. Likewise, you can save on heating bills during the fall and winter seasons by bundling up and wearing extra layers.
You can also manage your utility bills by making a family wide effort to cut down energy wasting behaviors like leaving lights off in empty rooms or letting gas-powered stove tops run longer than necessary. Taking these extra steps will help supplement the moves you make to take control of the climate in your home.
Use programmable thermostats to minimize energy use
A bit of new technology can transform your ordinary thermostat into a hub of efficiency. Automated programmable thermostats are designed to easily turn on and off with regard to your family’s schedule. During the day and early morning, while family members are at work or school, the home can be set to automatically turn to a more efficient temperature while vacant. By setting the home to reset to normal temperatures just before you or other family members arrive. Advanced models even allow you to make adjustments to the thermostat at home or remotely with your smartphone by leveraging the household’s high-speed Internet connection.
Applying a few all of these suggestion may take some time and money, but the investment is well worth securing your home against temperature swings and high energy bills. You may be able to develop some targeted climate control strategies of your own by assessing where your home’s defenses are weakest.
Pay close attention to rooms that feel unseasonably cooler or warmer than the rest of the home. These areas are likely the centers of waste in your home. Don’t forget to assess energy waste attics and basements as well. These forgotten spaces are often prime suspects for weaknesses in a home’s thermal barrier.