Energy Costs

As much as half of the energy used goes to heating and cooling. So making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills – and your comfort.

 

Controlling direct sun light and outdoor air is a very important part about cutting monthly energy costs. Whether your home or business, controlling out door environmental changes can make a huge difference in cutting costs. By opening shades on the East side of the building followed by the West side in the winter months can add wanted to heat to the facility. Awnings and vegetation are relatively inexpensive ways to cut cooling costs in the summer months by blocking sun light and keeping the facility cool.

 

Preventative Maintenance

A system tune-up of your heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system is critical to maintaining efficiency and energy costs. Signing up for a preventative maintenance agreement with a local HVAC company can really take the stress off your company and maintenance employees. Often times, HVAC maintenance is to be done by a certified HVAC technician due to the complexity of the system. Additionally, the use of an Energy Star qualified HVAC system does not exclude you from a service requirement, just like buying a car, routine maintenance is required to maintain and extend the life of the machinery. A contract agreement will provide a minimum of two pre-season tune-ups before summer and winter months making sure the Heating and Air Conditioning system is ready for the grueling months ahead.

 

Regularly changing things like Air Conditioning air filters every month during the heart of summer and winter can really save on the back end. New air filters are relatively cheap, usually only a few dollars depending on the system but can be the difference between hundreds of dollars in energy bills or system replacement costs. Again, this can all be included in a service agreement with an HVAC technician.

Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat lets you automatically turn your heat up before you get out of bed, down when you leave for work, up before you return from work and down again when you go to bed. Installing one before the heating season begins could save as much as 20 percent on your heating costs and recover your investment in the first year. Turn down the heat. You’ll typically save 1 percent to 3 percent on your heating costs for every degree you dial down the thermostat. Set your thermostat at 68 degrees when you’re home and at 65 degrees when you’re away for a short time. If you’re used to higher settings, dial down 1 degree at a time until you feel comfortable Lower your thermostat to 58 degrees if you’re away from home five hours or more. You use much less energy to heat the house up when you return than to keep it heated while you’re away.

Source: 100 Ways to Save - Consumers Energy

Quick Fix

Sealing leaks around windows and under doors can drastically cut energy costs. It is especially easy to do when it is very cold outside but by going around to each windows and assuring that the window is not leaking and cocking the ones that are can help keep the natural elements out. Another common mistake is leaving windows open. Usually this is due to the top half of the window falling down while the window is unlocked and remaining open even after the window was thought to be shut. One way to avoid this problem (and help security issues) is making sure all windows are locked. When the window is in the locked position, it seals to the frame and can be used correctly. Finally, closing fire place flues in buildings that have them when they are not being used helps cut off the air flow between the outdoors and indoors. Especially in the winter months, heat will escape up the chimney and out as heat rises and providing for extreme inefficiency.

Updating appliances which are older than 10 years old can exponentially increase energy efficiency. Units only ten years old can use as much as twice the amount of energy as a new Energy Star refrigerator or washer and dryer. Additionally, buying energy efficient light bulbs can also cut costs. Many energy companies even provide consumers with the option to get an energy efficient starter pack with about 20 or more light bulbs. This is free of cost and really is not a question when it comes to small businesses or home owners looking to cut costs.

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