What do you plan to do in 2017? Do you want to return to the gym, write a book, take an amazing vacation, or save money on your energy bill? If you said yes to the last idea, congratulations on your resolve to be kinder to your budget and the planet. Discover the following four tips to help you reach your goal.
Upgrade to a Programmable Thermostat
Many families are constantly on the go. If that situation describes your household, you will likely have times during the day when no one is at home. Instead of leaving the heat on while you’re gone so that you can come home to a warm house, switch to a programmable thermostat. This thermostat can lower the temperature in your house during the hours when no one is at home, and it can turn on the heat before your family members return home.
A programmable thermostat can also help you when the weather is warm by turning on the air conditioning in the evening and welcoming you home to a comfortable house.
Give Your HVAC System a Checkup
If your HVAC system isn’t working at its best, it can consume more energy than necessary and raise your energy bills. You should have your home’s HVAC system inspected at least once a year, but especially before warmer weather arrives.
An HVAC services professional will check your system for issues such as leaks, frozen coils, dirty filters, and wiring problems. These problems can cause short-cycling, poor airflow, and other problems that will affect your energy bills and your family’s comfort.
Seal Air Leaks
If you live in an older home, you will find places throughout the house where outdoor air can enter your home and create more difficulties for your HVAC system to maintain a comfortable temperature. Windows and doors are among the main culprits for air leaks. Consider using caulking or weather-stripping around these places.
During the winter, you may also want to cover some of your windows altogether with plastic sheeting. You can buy window kits at most home improvement stores. The plastic seal can increase the window’s insulating power by up to 90 percent. In the spring, all you have to do is peel off the seal. Also search for air leaks in other spots around the house, such as around the dryer vent and electrical outlets. Use insulating foam or caulk to seal these places.
Control Humidity Levels
The level of humidity in a space can affect how warm or cold you feel. Installing a humidifier will increase the amount of moisture in the air in your home during the winter, which will make you feel warmer. You might be able to turn down your thermostat a few degrees and decrease the amount of energy your HVAC system uses. Don’t turn the thermostat down too much, though; a high humidity level combined with chilly air can make you feel colder.
Air conditioning units come with inherent dehumidifying effects, but a dehumidifier can add to the effect and help you feel cooler during the summer months. Take control of your energy costs in 2017 by using a programmable thermostat, maintaining your HVAC system, sealing air leaks, and controlling your home’s humidity level. Your household budget will thank you.
Disclosure: This article is provided by a guest author.