Why Is My Energy Bill So High?
As we move out of a harsher winter, you might be breathing a sigh of relief as far as your energy bill is concerned. But before you put it out of mind, we’d like to ask you this: why was it so high in the first place? Will it be that high come summer? And how does your electricity play a part in it all?
Lots of questions, we know. But important ones! And even more pressing, ones that have easy answers, should you know what to look for. Want to understand how to drop your energy costs down a notch? The specialists at GAC Services are here to help.
Tackling High Heating and Cooling Costs
When it comes to heating and cooling, we can bundle them together quite easily with respect to how they consume energy. Basically, what works for one is going to impact the other! To start, some easy ways to keep your HVAC energy consumption to a minimum:
- Find your ideal temperature. Every single degree you move your thermostat up or down accounts for anywhere from 6-12% increased energy use. That number is huge in the context of monthly energy spending, so it’s very important to only set your system to your ideal comfort level. If a 70 is basically equally comfortable to a 72 in the winter, choose the 70, and vice versa for the summer.
- Change your air filter often. Keeping air flow healthy is paramount to ensuring your system only runs as long as it needs to. Clean air flow means air is delivered more efficiently, and your home hits the designated temp faster, thus saving you money by having the system off as much as possible while maintaining comfort.
- Master your ceiling fans. Counter-clockwise in summer, clockwise in winter. Using your ceiling fans effectively will help you stay comfortable, thus helping you turn down the thermostat a point or two like we discussed above. It can make a noteworthy difference—enough that if you don’t have ceiling fans, it’s worth the installation cost in long-term savings.
For the Best Results, Never Forget Annual Maintenance!
Keeping up with things on your own can make a noticeable difference. But when it comes to optimizing the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems, there is nothing more powerful than maintenance. Every aspect of a professional service aims to reduce the amount of time your system needs to operate, and eases the amount of effort (energy/fuel) the system has to expend in order to get its job done.
Be sure to schedule a tune-up in the spring for your Maryland home’s AC system, and do the same for your furnace come next fall. We guarantee you’ll notice lower energy costs!
Electrical Upgrades That Improve Efficiency
While your HVAC systems eat up more power on their own than anything else, tons of electrical systems can be optimized for higher efficiency as well—now more than ever. Home improvement as a whole has been aiming for better efficiency for homeowners for decades now, and much of that effort has borne fruit.
Looking for some good places to start? Consider these:
- Change your lights to LEDs. LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are a form of bulb that produces clean white light and uses far less energy. Compared to traditional fluorescents an LED bulb uses a tenth of the wattage, and tends to last many years longer. A single bulb only means so much, but when looking at the scope of your entire home the difference can be massive.
- Minimize vampire loads. A great way to cut some energy costs, and at no expense to you! When an appliance is plugged in but not running it does still eat up some power. This is called a vampire, or “invisible” load, and it can hike your energy costs quite a bit over time. The worst offenders are phones, tablets, and flat screen televisions.
- Install ENERGY STAR® appliances. ENERGY STAR qualified appliances pass rigorous testing that ensures they are more energy-efficient, reliable, and effective than non-rated appliances. The best upgrades here include ovens and ranges, refrigerators, fans, and lighting.
Reduce Your Energy Costs with HVAC Maintenance from GAC Services
Looking for top-class home service professionals near you? The team at GAC Services can offer all of the solutions you’ve been looking for! Whether you need HVAC services, electrical, or anything else, we’re the pros that Maryland and Virginia homeowners have been trusting for decades.