For countless homeowners, finding ways to minimize utility costs and reduce electric bills can be of paramount importance. Efforts like identifying optimal temperature and thermostat settings for each season and even different times of day can make quite a difference. Operating climate-control systems more efficiently by ensuring that all HVAC appliances and components are kept in good working order can lower household costs without forcing homeowners to sacrifice their comfort. The following guide should provide homeowners with a number of ways to lower their heating and cooling costs.
Identifying Optimal Temperature Settings
Temperatures that are too aggressive place greater demand on equipment, require more power, and may even impair the performance and output of climate-control systems. Identifying the optimal temperature range for the system and trying to ensure that temperatures do not become so extreme that undue stress is placed on appliances and equipment may significantly reduce operational costs. Seasonal differences, exposure to direct sunlight, and lower nighttime temperatures are all factors which need to be considered when determining the most efficient range of thermostat settings.
Temperature Regulation vs. Crash Heating and Rapid Cooling
While adjusting temperature settings during off-hours can save money, allowing temperatures within the home to stray too far from the ideal range can create problems. Forcing the system to use more power in order to effectively heat or cool an interior environment rapidly can eliminate the potential savings offered by leaving the system off or relaxing temperature settings throughout the day. Climate-control systems are the most energy efficient when they are consistently maintaining a medium temperature. Constant and moderate use of the system is more cost effective than crash heating or rapid cooling it from extremely hot or cold temperatures at too rapid of a pace.
Electricity Costs and Peak Hours
Knowing which times of day to make use of HVAC equipment can greatly enhance efficiency. While the difference in electricity costs during peak and off-peak hours will vary from one supplier to the next, knowing the best times of day to operate a climate-control system is not a matter that should be left to chance. Adjusting thermostats, regulating operation and placing greater demand on the system before or after peak hours can help to keep costs from getting out of hand. Peak hours vary based on climate and geographical location, so do your research to determine what hours to avoid and which to use your system during.
Fans, Space Heaters and Window Units
Operating larger appliances like a central AC unit or furnace in order to heat or cool the entire home is rarely the most economical option. Using fans to improve air circulation or making use of space heaters on window-mounted AC units can help lower electricity bills. Small home appliances that can provide room and area-specific temperature control will help to alleviate the need to use larger and more costly equipment.
Equipment Maintenance and Upgrades
Outdated equipment and appliances that have not been properly maintained could end up being a very costly liability. Preventative maintenance and routine service of all HVAC equipment and components ensures that homeowners are able to identify and address any issues which might otherwise impair operation. For homeowners who are serious about lowering their monthly bills, upgrading to a more efficient system or replacing antiquated components with newer-model devices designed with superior efficiency and performance in mind is often well worth the purchase and installation costs. From a blown compressor to a faulty thermostat, even the most seemingly minor maintenance issues could make owners unable to reduce their utility costs, no matter how much they fine-tune their temperature settings.