How to Cut Energy Costs
Saving energy around the house relies on some simple maintenance tips and strategies, but there are a few new wrinkles to consider when trying to keep costs down.
The Big Energy Draws
It is common knowledge that the HVAC system is generally the largest consumer of energy in a home. Changing air filters, and cleaning around the outdoor condenser are some quick, easy fixes we can do ourselves. Keeping up with maintenance such as regular service appointments with a trusted technician from Temp Control keeps the system running efficiently, and spot potential energy drains before they start.
One culprit many people neglect is the water heater. After the HVAC system, the water heater draws the most energy in a typical household. Regular flushing of the water tank keeps the unit working correctly and avoids excessive power consumption. Adding a water heater blanket around the tank could save between 25-45 percent on water heating costs. Most newer water heaters, however, are insulated well and won’t benefit much from a blanket. Another small tweak that can save money, in the long run, is lowering the water heater’s temperature to 120 degrees. A 10-degree reduction in temperature can save 3 to 5 percent of water heating costs.
Another massive energy suck is the refrigerator and freezer. Refrigerators, like air conditioners, also have condenser coils that draw dirt and debris. Cleaning the coils every three months keeps the unit from overworking.
Indeed, keeping the fridge and freezer door(s) closed goes a long way from pouring out cold air and making the compressor work harder and longer. But also, remember that food acts as an insulator. A full freezer works more efficiently if the peas, ice cream, and chicken nuggets are snuggling tightly together. A refrigerator, however, operates a little differently. We don’t want it stuffed with yesterday’s meatloaf crowding the mayonnaise, which, in turn, is spilling into the leftover spaghetti. A refrigerator needs air to circulate to keep foods at a consistent temperature.
Sweating the Small Stuff
Small adjustments can add up to significant savings in energy costs. One of the best places to start is switching out older thermostats for programmable or smart thermostats. These will allow the user to have significantly more control over home temperatures. Many smart thermostats will enable us to control the heating and cooling from afar; help us analyze our energy usage, and even alert us if the home is overheating or unnecessarily cold.
Ceiling fans are still a great way to cut costs in summer and winter. Remember that fans should turn counter-clockwise in summer and clockwise in winter to yield best results. Plus, turn on ceiling fans only in rooms that are occupied.
Getting out of the kitchen in summer helps too. Cooking generates a lot of heat. Moving dinner outdoors to the grill and enjoying a summer evening outside is fun and helps ease the burden on the cooling system with a kitchen generating heat.
Finally, a walk around the home’s interior looking for cracks and openings around doors, windows, walls, and even electrical outlets may yield a few more nickels by keeping cold air out in the winter and warm air out in the summer.
This is only a partial list of ways we can conserve energy and feel a little better about saving the planet while also keeping a bit of our hard-earned cash in our pockets. As always, scheduling an HVAC professional from Temp Control to visit your home for a checkup and inspection of your heating and cooling system makes for a great start to a safe and environmentally conscious residence.
For HVAC services in Woodbridge, Clark, Westfield or anywhere in Middlesex, Union or Somerset Counties, give us a call at 732-218-8400 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. No matter the season, It’s All About Your Comfort.