What difference does energy efficiency make? Perhaps you think you’ll only save a few bucks, and it isn’t worth the trouble? Maybe you think you have to overhaul your entire lifestyle to conserve energy, and it just doesn’t seem possible? Maybe you don’t see how one little household like yours could make a difference…
It’s a GOOD idea to improve your energy efficiency and the benefits are numerous. Better yet, the fixes can be SIMPLE and require little effort to make a big impact. HVAC system operation accounts for a majority of the energy bill for most households. Check out these four ways that you can impact your energy efficiency, lower your bill, and rescue the planet JUST by making subtle, effortless changes to your home temperature experience.
4 SMART Solutions to Increase YOUR Home’s Energy Efficiency
Soak Up the Sunshine (or don’t!)
The sun is our most powerful source of energy. When it shines down on us, we’re warm. In its absence, things get colder. The same is true inside your home. When you’re working to keep your home warm, let the sunshine in – even if it’s wintry outside! That extra sun could be enough to warm small spaces so you don’t need to run a space heater AND your whole-home system shouldn’t kick on as often because the temperature is kept more even & warm. In the summer, do the opposite! Keep the miniblinds or curtains closed when you can to curtail sun exposure and retain that crisp, cool feeling without over-exerting your AC. When your system runs less often, less power is used. That was easy!
Monitor Your Temps
Did you know? You can cut back on the expenditure of energy in your home very simply by adjusting your thermostat just a little bit lower or higher than you normally would. During the winter, forgo the cozy 70ºF you usually keep in your home for 24 hours straight. You don’t have to go COLD turkey, just hit 67-68ºF for 8 to 10 hours. Do this consistently and you’ll see a decrease in energy expenditure (and cost!) in the month. Likewise, when the summer hits, you should do the same. Now, set your thermostat to a slightly higher temperature than you normally would, part time. It’s estimated that for every degree you adjust, you’ll save about 3% on energy costs. This trick works especially well during the hours you are sleeping or away at work.
Batten Down the Hatches
Sometimes, air leaks. Sometimes, things have holes. Most of the time the little gaps and leaks in your home go unnoticed and won’t freeze you out or leave you sweating. You’ll only notice the leaks later when your energy bill is astronomical and your AC or heating system is exhausted. When drafts enter the home, or conditioned air from inside escapes outward, your HVAC system is being abused as it tries, to no avail, to regulate your temperature. Not only does this use up more energy than would normally be necessary, but it also causes undue wear & tear.
No worries! It’s easy to DIY and seal your windows, door jambs, and other places where leaks are conspicuous. Weatherstripping or caulking should do the trick and soon, your system will take a much needed break from working double-duty, easing up on deterioration AND on your wallet.
Maintain Your System
Perhaps the EASIEST and most hands-off way to make sure your energy bill is reduced is to continuously take care of your HVAC system components. You should enlist a professional HVAC technician to help you perform routine maintenance on your system and diagnose any issues before they fester. Also, your Sierra Air technician can provide other tips for using the system in a way that saves energy.
If you haven’t conducted routine maintenance on your HVAC system in the past 12 months, give us a call! We’ll be happy to tune-up your system and help you achieve the maximum energy efficiency with little effort.