Utility bills serve as one of the most significant expenses a homeowner can ever incur. There are many things that consume energy in a home. At the top of this list, air conditioners and furnaces tend to drive up people’s energy costs more than anything else. This is especially true when there are older units present in the residence. Swamp coolers and old furnaces struggle to retain the same level of functionality they did years ago. They already used too much energy to begin with. The fact that they have seen better days puts them even more behind the curve in terms of efficiency.
Energy efficient air conditioners and furnaces are understandably important. But in addition, the way utility bills are calculated depends on how much you use your machines. You have to find a way to reduce your usage rates to the point where your utility bills are at a level that you can afford. Sacrificing comfort for the sake of savings is easier than most people might imagine.
Old thermostats are much harder to interpret than their newer, digital counterparts. Reading these thermostats is challenging and programming them is even more difficult. As these thermostats wear out, they fail to communicate with their air conditioners or furnaces as they should. This issue causes each of these units to run more frequently or not at all. The extra time they spend cranking away will cause your utility bills to go through the roof. There’s nothing wrong with turning off your thermostat once in a while, especially if it means you will save a few dollars in the process.
The newer thermostats are easier to read and program as well. From an energy savings standpoint It’s important that these units stop running when you’re not at home. Other people decide that they want to have them going while they’re sleeping to increase their comfort level. But surviving these time periods is easy as long as you keep things warm until you fall asleep. Once asleep, you won’t have to worry about what temperature it is.
One more trick to save money on your energy bill is to invest in a fan or small space heater. Either one of these units can cool down or heat up a room in a hurry. Letting these devices run at all hours of the day can cause problems, however, especially if they have been around for a number of years. New versions of these devices have safety controls implemented that force them to turn off when conditions become unsafe. They should be turned on before you go to bed and then turned off when you’re about to lay down.
Next week we’ll discuss the effects of using a fireplace in addition to your furnace for heating your home.