How To Lower Your Heating and Cooling Costs

Your energy bill is based on the amount of electricity you use and how often you use it. Therefore, your habits and the devices you use end up shaping your bill.

1. Appliances That Cost The Most To Run

To get an idea of how much energy your appliances use and, thus, how much they end up costing you, here’s a little sneak peek.

Your heating and cooling costs top the list as your AC typically consumes 15,000 watts per hour and you probably use it about 10 hours a day. It is followed by clothes dryers and water heaters that consume less than a third, or more precisely 4,000 watts per hour. The water pump comes next at 3,000 watts per hour.

A space heater ‘only’ consumes 1,500 wats per hour with the refrigerator consuming 1,000 watts per hour but the difference is that refrigerator and freezer work 24/7 unlike other devices. Desktop computer and monitor take about 400 wats per hour with incandescent light bulbs consuming 60 wats of energy. Upgrading to energy-efficient CFLs or LEDs when your incandescent bulbs expire might be a small step but even that change alone will make a positive difference in your bill.

Keep in mind these figures are only averages, that the devices vary in energy-efficiency and that your usage patterns play a key role in your energy bill.

2. AC and your Energy Bill

There’s no way around it: air conditioners use a lot of electricity as we use them to stay comfortable. If you want to save money on heating and cooling, you should install a programmable thermostat that can save you can save you 10 percent on your energy costs every year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This smart device also helps in making a schedule that ensures the comfort of your own home.

However, you should keep in mind that a loss in efficiency will cause an even higher bill.

Dirty filters, duct leaks, failing parts, lack of maintenance, an outdated system and even an improper installation are all reasons that could be behind a higher utility bill. Any of these will make your unit struggle to get the job done and consume more energy as a consequence. Besides a higher energy bill, they can also lead to frustrating and expensive breakdowns.

Additionally, you need to consider if your home has any drafts which allow indoor air to escape and outdoor air in, translating to wasted energy that also adds up to your heating and cooling bill. Keeping your attic and garage well insulated also plays a part in making your home energy-efficient.

3. AC Maintenance Benefits And Tips

The easiest thing you can do to prevent high Ambit Energy Electric bills is maintain your unit properly to ensure it runs efficiently.

Keep it clean, but gently

As bulky as the unit may seem, its fins are fragile so vacuum them with a bristle brush to avoid bending or crushing them.

Fix fins, again gently

Those fins that have been bent or crushed need to be realigned. All you need is a simple knife and gentle pressure. Don’t insert the knife more than 1/2 in.

Unclog

Water puddling around the furnace with the AC running means that you have a clogged condensate drain tube. You can prevent slime and eliminate clogs piling up from condensed air with pan tablets.

Clean and replace filters regularly

If you want clean indoor air and an efficient unit, your filters needs to be cleaned every 60 to 90 days, depending on how many members live in your household. Pets count as members!

Consider fans and blinds

Fans have been cooling houses long before ACs came into the picture. Although they don’t actually bring the temperature down, they create a pleasant breeze and make a room feel cooler. Cover your windows with blinds and drapes during the day to prevent your home from heating up and open them during the night to let cool air in. With fans and thick drapes, your AC will have to work less hard.

Takeaway

Air conditioners are such a wonderful invention that make us feel comfortable. At summer, they protect us from ‘melting’ and being at risk of a heat stroke. During winter, they make us warm and cozy. But for the AC to do its job, we need to do ours by properly maintaining our units.