This post was republished with permission from SecondNature.com.
Let’s face it, we could all use a little extra pocket change. While changing your home air filters on a regular schedule won’t drop a couple grand into your checking account, there are several benefits to the practice. extend the life of your HVAC system while drastically improving the quality of the air in your home, it also saves money on your energy bill! U.S. Department of Energy estimates that changing your air filter on a regular schedule can save up to 15% on heating and cooling costs.
- Set your thermostat on a schedule. This ensures your system is only running when it needs to be... No need to keep the house at 68 degrees during the day, when the whole family is at work and school.
- Wrap your water heater with an insulating blanket and set the thermostat lower than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The insulation will help keep its temperature constant and also ensure energy isn't wasted heating your water to a higher-than-necessary temperature.
- Seal off drafts coming from exterior doors, windows, and electrical outlets--even small amounts of cold air droughts coming in from outside can make your system work harder in order to keep your house warm.
- Add timers or motion sensors to your lights, along with dimmers. This ensures you don't use wasted energy when you are not at home.
- Shield your interior living spaces from the sun. By using thick curtains, blinds, or even tinted window film, you can reduce your cooling costs since the sun won't be warming up your living space. On the other hand, these efforts can help with insulating your home during the winter months!
- If you haven't already switched, make the switch to LED bulbs. LED light bulbs consume 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last much longer.
- Utilize off-peak rates to run major appliances. If your energy provider offers off-peak usage rates, take advantage of them. These "time-of-use" plans allow you to save by using major appliances (like your dishwasher, washing machine, etc.) outside of peak hours (typically after 7 or 8 PM). Contact your energy provider to see if they offer a time-of-use plan and learn how it works.
- The U.S. Department of Energy produced an easy-to-read infographic that offers a primer on cutting down energy costs associated with your HVAC system.