Saving money on utilities is an easy way to bolster your budget and free up cash for gas, groceries, rent and other necessary expenses. In this article, we share 10 easy tricks you can implement now to save on heating and cooling costs.
- Save 10% on Heating and Cooling with this Trick
- 9 More Easy Ways to Save on Heating and Cooling
- Apply for Help with your Energy Bills
In the face of inflation-at an astounding 8.26% increase this year- and the price of gas and groceries on the rise in the United States; it’s important to cut utility costs where you can. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, the average American family spends roughly $2,060 a year on energy bills. With winter just around the corner, and extreme weather conditions adding to rising energy costs, these 10 Tricks will help you prepare.
Save 10% on Heating and Cooling with this Trick
Your heating and cooling system is the most expensive system in your home, adding up to approximately 48% of your energy costs. Heating and cooling your home while nobody’s there can be a costly mistake and transfers money from your pocket to the pocket of your energy provider.
Save money by adjusting the thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. According to Energy.Gov, you can save as much as 10% on your heating and cooling costs by turning the thermostat back 7-10 degrees from its normal setting for 8 hours a day.
In winter months, the longer your home stays at lower temperatures, the slower the heat loss. Lower your thermostat to 68 degrees F when you are home and easily save money.
When adjusting the cooling temperature setting, don’t get carried away. Setting the temperature too high puts stress on your cooling unit because it has to work much harder to cool off your home, which adds to the cost of energy. Energy costs will be lowest when the difference between outdoor and indoor temperatures is minimal.
If you own your home, save money without sacrificing your comfort by using a programmable thermostat. Many programmable thermostats have features that allow you to set a schedule, access your thermostat from an app, use voice control, and receive reminders for changing air filters and regular system maintenance.
The location of your thermostat can impact its proficiency and performance. To maximize proper temperature readings, place the thermostat in an easily accessible location on an interior wall; unobstructed by furniture, drafts, windows, and direct sunlight. Read the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure proper installation.
9 More Easy Ways to Save on Heating and Cooling
- Inspect and replace air filters every 1-3 months to ensure efficiency. Use a vacuum cleaner brush to remove visible dust from the duct work and grille.
- Once or twice a season, eliminate trapped air from hot water radiators. Consult a professional if you are unsure of how to perform this task.
- Turn off all exhaust fans within 20 minutes of use. Replace exhaust fans with high-efficiency, low-noise models.
- Clean radiators and baseboard heaters as needed. Ensure they are not blocked by drapes, carpeting, furniture or household items.
- Consider using an indoor fan to circulate cooled air throughout your home.
- Use ceiling fans in both summer and winter months. Use the switch at the base of the fan to reverse fan blades to turn clockwise during the winter and distribute warm air that’s trapped near the ceiling.
- Check that fireplace dampers are closed when not in use.
- Test your doors and windows for air leaks by feeling for cool air along the sides of windows and bottom of doors. Lock windows to create a better seal.
- Use foil tape or mastic sealant to seal ducts and prevent heat loss.
Apply For Help With Your Energy Bills
If you are struggling to cover the costs of your energy bills, you may qualify for assistance from the government, a local services agency, or a nonprofit.
The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) may be able to help with:
- Assistance to pay your heating or cooling bills
- Emergency services in cases of energy crisis, such as utility shutoffs
- Low-cost home improvements, known as weatherization, that make your home more energy efficient and lower your utility bills.
This chart from Benefits.gov shows the average LIHEAP eligibility requirements. Actual requirements may vary by state, city, or region. Each local LIHEAP office sets its own eligibility requirements.
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