Saving money on heating and cooling is a great way to start or improve your efforts at frugal living. As a plus, you will also leave a smaller carbon footprint by doing this. Have a look at these five effective ways in which you can spend less on heating and cooling.
Change Your Filters Regularly
Dirty filters mean that your system has to work harder to perform the same way. Changing your filters is easy enough to do on your own, but if you want to combine doing so with something else for improved efficiency, you can give your HVAC technician a call to help you out. It's advisable to check your filter once every month, especially for months in winter and summer during which it will be in heavy use. Change it if it looks dirty, and never go longer than three months without changing it. These steps will save energy as the system works more efficiently.
Fix Air Leaks
Air leaks will have you heating or cooling a lot more air than you need as it's constantly leaking out of the house and getting replaced by the air outside. Check your doors and windows and make sure that there are no visible leaks, sealing them with caulk if they are there. Also check to see that your crawl space and attic are well insulated, with the vents closed in extreme weather. Keep basement doors closed to maximize the heat circulating in the house's usable space.
Get High-Efficiency Systems Installed
If your house still has outdated heating and cooling systems, you can improve your frugal living by replacing them with modern units. Doing this can reduce the energy used for air conditioning by an impressive 20% to 50%. Consult with your HVAC company to find out the best and most efficient system for the size of your house and your budget. This may have a significant initial cost but will save you a lot in the long term.
Maintain Your Heating and Cooling System
Regular maintenance of your heating and cooling unit will enable it to function at its most optimal levels for a long time to come. You will also catch any issues that may be starting up before they get out of hand. Fixing these before they get worse will be cheaper and faster than working on them when the damage is far gone. Every six months, you should have the system maintained to make sure it's in the best state possible.
Rely on Nature to Use Less Energy
Leverage nature to save on energy bills by opening the blinds in cooler months so the warm air can get into the house. Close them in hot seasons to keep the heat of the sun out when it's at its peak. You could also alternate between opening the blinds on the cooler side of the house and closing them on the warmer side for natural cooling in summer and vice versa in winter. More than 50% of a home's energy is typically used for cooling and heating the living space, according to the Department of Energy. A further 6% is used for lighting while 18% is used for heating water. Taking these costs down will accumulate into great savings.
Frugal living is a journey comprised of cumulative efforts on different fronts. Have a professional help you make your house more energy-efficient, either by fixing things or simply advising you on what to change. Over the period of a year, after you start to practice efficient energy use, you will start to see savings.