Energy can be one of the most surprising expenditures for many homeowners and businesses. Hidden costs can pop up where you don’t expect them, a few weeks of running the AC or heater can really add up, and small problems can turn into huge losses. Thankfully, there are a number of ways to drive down your energy costs and get the most bang for your buck. Here are some tips to help you get started.
Easy Ways to Save Energy at Home
It may seem like you need to make some serious sacrifices in order to save on your energy bill, but that isn’t necessarily the case. If you make strategic choices, you can save money with minimal discomfort.
For example, a simple cleaning may be enough to dramatically boost the efficiency of your heater, air conditioner, or ventilation system. This is because when dust and debris build up in your HVAC, they don’t just bring down air quality and look ugly. They also trap heat, which can drive up your bills whether it’s summer or winter.
If your heater or air conditioner is particularly old, then you might be surprised at just how cheap an upgrade really is. The initial price may seem prohibitive, but efficiency has come a long way in the last few decades, not to mention the wear and tear that’s likely making your appliances less efficient. In a few short years, you could be saving money. Even if you aren’t planning on being in the same house in a few years, having modern HVAC can help negotiations quite a bit when you decide to sell.
Alternative Energy Sources to Consider
In this day and age, there are a variety of alternative energy sources to choose from. Some may offer monetary savings, while others may offer less tangible benefits, like increased environmental friendliness.
One option is to take a look at natural gas as a heating option. In some places, the cost effectiveness of natural gas and electricity have fluctuated quite a bit over the years. If you haven’t compare your options recently, you may be surprised to learn that switching could save you a substantial amount of money.
If you’re more interested in ecological impact, then switching over to solar power could be a good idea. Depending on where you live and how much sunlight your house gets, you may be able to save money by switching over to solar panels. However, even if you don’t save money, the simple act of switching can reduce your impact on the environment at a potentially low cost.
How to Save Energy Seasonally
Whether it’s a scorching summer or a freezing winter, there are a number of ways you can make small adjustments and reap big rewards.
First, you want to make sure that your building isn’t letting heat out or in. This is obvious when it comes to closing doors and windows, but if that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Small cracks can let drafts in and drive up your heating costs. This is because you may not feel the heat escaping your house, but that’s because your heater is working overtime to compensate.
Second, you want to make sure your insulation is in good condition. No matter how many times you go over your walls for cracks, nooks, and crannies where heat might be moving through, it won’t matter if heat can easily move through the walls themselves.
How to Find the Best Energy Providers
Figuring out the best energy provider in your area can be tough, but there are ways to narrow down your options. Make sure to browse and compare your local options rather than taking advertisements and claims at face value. Consult your family, friends, and peers to see what kind of rates they’re getting and how your offers stack up.
One popular option is to go with bundled energy plans, a great option if you want to use multiple types of fuel.
The Bottom Line
Minimizing your energy bill and maximizing your comfort largely comes down to paying attention to the small things, examining your options, and upgrading your HVAC when necessary. As long as you follow those basic principles, you should be able to get your heating and air conditioning as cheaply as possible.