Do you feel like your central heating and AC system is costing you a fortune in energy bills? You might be spending more of your hard-earned money on warming and cooling your home than necessary.
This year, why not make it your resolution to increase your home’s energy efficiency and lower the cost of keeping your home comfortable? By making these four initial home improvements, you’ll not only see lower energy bills in 2020 but for many years afterward.
1. Seal Any Drafts
Every home has gaps around doors and windows where cold, conditioned air leaks out during summer and where heat escapes during winter. Attics and fireplaces can also play a role in air leakage. Sealing these drafts with materials like caulk and weatherstripping is, for the most part, a DIY project.
The U.S. Department of Energy has weighed the pros and cons of various air sealing materials. In low-traffic areas, for example, you could apply an open-cell foam tape. For more durable results, use vinyl or, if that would be too out of place, metal.
2. Add Insulation
Most homes already have insulation in the attic and wall cavities, but depending on when your home was built, its insulation might be outdated. To save money, the builders may have also skimped on the insulation’s R-value (how resistant the material is to heat flow). R-value differs based on factors like insulation type and density.
In some cases, you might be able to determine your current insulation’s R-value yourself, but it may be best to consult a professional. ENERGY STAR bases the recommended R-value for your home on the zone where you live. Still, an expert who sees your home in person can make more specific recommendations regarding insulation material and location.
With improved insulation and weatherstripping, you’ll already be on your way to lower energy bills in 2020 and beyond. In fact, ENERGY STAR reports that these home improvements alone can save you $200 a year in heating and cooling costs–but there are even more ways to save below…
3. Purchase a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat is the best way to maximize your HVAC system. All you have to do is set a schedule for the device and then forget about it. To save around 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling costs, program your thermostat to lower by 7° to 10°F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day during winter. During summer, do the opposite: program your thermostat to raise the temperature by 7° to 10°F from its normal setting for 8 hours a day
Wi-Fi thermostats provide remote access, which can come in handy. Through a smartphone app, you could, for instance, turn the heater on half an hour before getting home from work so that you return to a cozy interior.
4. Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Through everyday use, your HVAC equipment acquires dust and dirt build-up, and its parts can loosen over time. Factors like these cause the parts to operate less efficiently than they once did, which means that it’s going to take your HVAC system longer to make your home your desired temperature. This, in turn, means that your HVAC system will use more energy and cost more to operate.
Getting your HVAC system professionally tuned up will allow it to run at peak efficiency. Additionally, getting your system regularly serviced can reduce the risk of expensive breakdowns by as much as 95 percent (according to the Indoor Air Quality Association).
Call Monarch Home Services today or contact us online to schedule an AC or heater service in Bakersfield, Fresno, Visalia, or the surrounding areas in the San Joaquin Valley!