An HVAC unit is unlike a traditional air conditioning unit in that it heats, ventilates, and cools your entire home using one single unit. This raises the amount of energy that your house uses, thus raising your energy bill. In most areas, typically 44% of the utility bill goes directly to heating and cooling.
It would be ideal if everyone lived in a place where the temperature never changed from a comfortable seventy degrees all year long. Sadly, that is not that case for anyone. Because of increasingly drastic weather patterns that cause hotter summers and colder winters, an HVAC unit is a necessity for not only a person’s health and comfort, but also for their sanity. Thankfully, there are many inexpensive ways to keep your home comfortable without sacrificing more of your hard earned money than necessary.
First, check your HVAC’s SEER efficiency rating. Ratings typically range from 13 to 23, the highest numbers being the most energy efficient. If you find that you have a low-efficiency rating, then you will see a substantial difference in your spending simply by upgrading the system to one with a higher rating.
There are easier, less expensive ways to cut down on that bill and save energy.
Simply sealing all of your windows and doors can save you 15% off your energy costs. Make sure that all of your windows and doors are sealed properly and securely. Use adhesive closed-cell foam to secure the seams of your windows, making them air tight and preventing air from going in or coming out of your home. This weather stripping material can be found at most local home improvement stores and is an inexpensive way to keep costs low. Also, consider installing a simple door sweep on your doors keeps even the strongest of drafts out.
Tinting on your windows can provide a monumental difference in the temperature of your home, even in the harshest summer heat. Thankfully, it is so easy to install that even your grandmother can do it. There are varying shades of tint that you can use, but keep in mind that the darker the tint you try to use, the darker your house will become. Though the tint is easy to remove, you don’t want to be removing and then installing tint every day to your windows, so make sure that you are okay with your only light source being your indoor lights – especially if you have plants inside that need direct sunlight from your windows – before you decide to tint rather than simply buying heavy drapes.
One of the final things that you can do to get the most out of your HVAC unit without costing your entire paycheck is to check the insulation in your house. Many people find their attic becoming an oven in the summer, and all of that heat has nowhere to go but down into your home in the summer. In the winter, all of the hot air goes out the same way it had come in just months before. Make sure that there is plenty of insulation to keep the hot air out in the summer and inside in the winter.
All of these DIY ways to save money can be found at most local hardware stores.