Did you know that nearly half of your home’s energy usage throughout the year can be attributed to heating and cooling? During the fall, energy bills may be low as you enjoy open windows and fresh, crisp air. However, it generally costs more to heat a home than it does to cool it, which means higher bills are on the horizon. That makes autumn the perfect time to take inventory of your home’s energy usage and save a little in the coming months.
Look around your home: there are many things you can do today to help decrease your energy consumption during the cold season!
Drafts around old windows and doors let cold air in, and warm air out. Use caulk to seal any small cracks around windows. If you have large gaps around operable windows or doors, try using weather stripping to ensure a tight seal.
Take Inventory of Your Vents
Make sure your vents are clean and clear! Your vents mustn’t be blocked by furniture or carpets. While you’re at it, make sure your vents are clean and not clogged by dust or pet hair. If you live in a home with a basement, try opening any closed vents in the cellar to take advantage of warm air rising. At the same time, check your ductwork for leaks to make sure you’re not inadvertently heating uninhabited spaces, like your attic!
Change the Direction of Your Ceiling Fan
We all know that hot air rises. During the summer, running your ceiling fan counterclockwise pulls warm air up and pushes cool air back down. During the winter, set your fan to turn clockwise and push warm air back down. Most ceiling fans have a switch that changes the direction, helping you save big on your energy bill.
Open Your Curtains and Shades
During the summer, it’s a good idea to close window treatments to keep sunshine out. Conversely, on cool days, take advantage of the sun to warm your home! Open the blinds and curtains whenever and wherever sunbeams will shine through.
Your HVAC System
Don’t ignore your HVAC system! These tips help keep your system in great condition all year long.
Keep Up with HVAC Maintenance
One simple tip is to keep up with regular HVAC maintenance. Getting your HVAC system serviced regularly identifies small problems before they become colossal fixes. Tune-ups keep your system working at peak performance all year long, which reduces your fuel bills. A.N. Roth makes it easy with our Performance Plus Maintenance Plan. Twice-a-year services ensure your system is operating in top condition, prolong equipment life, and save you 15% on-demand service calls.
Change Your Air Filter
In addition to having your HVAC system serviced professionally, keep on top of HVAC maintenance that can be done at home. Change your air filter regularly! Keeping your air filter clean helps improve airflow and keeps your system running smoothly. If you’re not sure, check with a technician to find out what kind of filter you should use and how often you should change it.
Clean Your Outdoor HVAC Unit
Cleaning your outdoor HVAC unit regularly is like changing the air filter on your furnace: it helps improve airflow and keeps your system running smoothly all year long. Over the summer, your outdoor HVAC unit can become caked with grass clippings, dirt, and leaves, so fall is the perfect time for a thorough cleaning.
Keep Temperatures Consistent
Driving your car on the interstate uses less fuel than driving your car through stop-and-go city traffic. The same principle applies to your HVAC system! Frequently changing the temperature on your thermostat can drive up your energy costs, so as much as possible, try to keep your system running steadily.
Program Your Thermostat
Regardless of the season, minimizing the temperature difference between the indoors and outdoors saves considerable amounts of energy. Programming your thermostat to adjust automatically when you’re asleep or at work helps ensure that the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures stays small, while you still stay comfortable.
Autumn is a beautiful season and a time during which you probably use your HVAC system very little. That’s no reason to ignore it because chances are you’ll need it very soon. These simple tips will help ensure that your home is comfortable and healthy all winter long.