There are only a few things that sting harder than a high utility bill. Heating and billing costs account for over half of the average homeowner’s energy costs. Coupled with the rising cost of energy, everyone is looking for ways to reduce their energy usage.
The good news is, there are a few changes and adjustments you make around your home to keep your heating and cooling costs at a minimum. On that note, here are five things you can do to ensure energy efficiency and keep your energy bill low.
Clean and maintain your appliances on a regular basis to minimize your energy consumption rate. Besides, all appliances (whether it’s a central air conditioner, grill, microwave, dishwasher, or clothes dryer) perform their best when well maintained and cleaned. So, if you want to keep cooling costs low, ensure that you get your central AC unit inspected by HVAC system experts regularly. This will allow the technicians to examine the entire air-conditioning unit (and unclog dust, dirt, and fiber from the air filter) or replace it if need be. This is especially useful during the summer months.
Upgrade Your Thermostat
Upgrading to a smart or programmable thermostat will save you money in the long run. This is because a programmable thermostat works by regulating your home’s temperature. You see, many people forget to turn off appliances in their home, and unfortunately, the heating and cooling system happens to be a typical victim. With a smart thermostat, you can change the setting to control and manage your home’s temperature at all times. This means the thermostat will shut off during your working hours and switch on an hour before you return home. This way, you no longer have to deal with losing energy because you forgot to turn off your AC unit.
Draught-Proof Your Home
Is your home always cold despite the heating being on? If so, cracks and leaks might be the likely cause. If you want to reduce your electric costs, start by identifying these cracks and cervices that exist in your home. You don’t need to have any exceptional skills to do this; a caulking gun is more than enough. Check everywhere, from the common rooms to the attic and basement.
Get an Energy Audit
It’s always a lot easier to fix a problem when you know the source, and this is how an energy audit can help with energy savings. A well-executed audit will help you understand what appliances and gadgets are the major contributors to your energy bill. You’ll also find out the areas that need adjusting to save money. Many utility companies offer this service at an affordable fee. So, go ahead and schedule an appointment with an energy auditor. They’ll first send a technician to your home. Using a special thermal meter, they can pinpoint heat-loss culprits within your home and review your appliances.
Negotiate Better Rates
Sometimes, the problem is not you, it’s them—your energy providers. So, if you feel your energy bill is always high despite making all the necessary adjustments to your home and lifestyle, then perhaps it’s time to shop for a better rate.
First, conduct thorough research on different energy providers and what rates they offer. Then, challenge your current energy provider with this information by threatening to end your contract if they can’t match the rate. Of course, your energy provider is likely not going to drop their rates, but they can increase your discount, and this, along with all the other tips, will go a long way towards keeping your heating and cooling costs from rising.