5 Energy-Saving Habits to Start Now
If your heating and cooling bills constantly shock you, now is the time to cut out energy waste and reduce the monthly utility costs in your Fairfax, Virginia, home. These tips are easy enough to start now, and you’ll likely see an immediate improvement when you get your next bill.
Set the Thermostat
When you’re stuck in the habit of turning the air conditioner or heater on when you feel uncomfortable and then shutting it off, it’s time to program your thermostat. When you set up a schedule, you don’t have to worry about making manual adjustments. Turning the system on and off wastes a lot of energy since it has to start up and shut down every time you adjust it.
Once you have the thermostat programmed, you can always make changes or drop the temperature by a few degrees manually, but you won’t be turning it on or off on a regular basis. It might seem counterintuitive to save energy by letting your system run more often, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised to see that this way of operating the unit is more efficient.
Take it a step further by investing in a smart thermostat, which gives even better control over energy usage. A smart thermostat is accessible with an app on your smartphone, allowing you to adjust the temperature from anywhere. It also tracks usage and habits and then makes adjustments to reduce energy waste. For example, some smart thermostats monitor movement within the home to determine if anyone is there. If it doesn’t detect movement, it can automatically raise the temperature and use less energy until you get home.
Replace Light Bulbs
If you haven’t changed your light bulbs in a few years, you might still be using incandescent bulbs that waste a lot of energy. LED bulbs are extremely efficient, helping you to save quite a bit on energy bills. If you don’t want to invest in LED bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs are a better option than incandescent options. In fact, a compact fluorescent bulb can reduce energy usage by over 60 percent.
Insulate the Space
Walk around your home and look at the doors, windows, and other openings to the outside. If you can see sunlight or feel air coming through any gaps or cracks, those areas will allow heated or cooled air to seep out. Use weatherstripping around doors to provide a better seal. Outdated windows tend to be very drafty, so replacing those will also reduce energy waste.
The trees and shrubs around your home can make a big difference in the need to cool your home during the winter months. It’s no secret that sunlight makes a room feel hotter, so having a number of shade trees near your home can help filter the UV rays and keep it cooler inside.
Those same trees can provide insulation and break up the gusts of wind during the winter months, offering an eco-friendly way to reduce energy usage. If you’re planting trees to take advantage of these energy savings, make sure to focus your attention on the south and west sides of your home.
Replace the Filter
Most HVAC manufacturers recommend replacing the filter within your system once a month. However, this is a task that often falls to the bottom of the priority list, so it’s lucky if a property owner is changing it once a quarter. Set a reminder on your phone or make a note and put it somewhere visible to keep up on this important maintenance task. When your furnace has a clean filter, it can operate at peak efficiency. With a clogged, dirty filter, the HVAC system has to work harder to produce the same heated or cooled air.
When you reduce your energy usage and waste, you can enjoy the cost savings each month on heating and cooling bills. If your heating and cooling system is still costing a fortune to operate, contact us at Brennan’s Heating & Air Conditioning by calling (703) 491-2771 to schedule a tuneup or service call.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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