While we all need electricity to power our homes, there are some ways in which we could be misusing it and causing our utility bills to spike, forcing us to pay more than we had anticipated and planned for.
To prevent your utilities from spiking, and to keep your bills at a manageable level, here are 8 things to avoid doing:
- Not changing your HVAC air filters
When the mercury rises, a HVAC system that isn’t working efficiently due to dirty filters, can inflate your energy bills. Over time, air filters capture dust, lint, pollen, and other pollutants, forcing the HVAC system to work much harder than it needs to. Try changing your air filter at least once every two months.
- Letting air leak out
Homes can lose a significant amount of energy as a result of leaks and drafts, so be sure to check that all doors, windows and exterior walls are properly sealed, along with sealing and caulking and your attic space. It also pays to check for leaks in your ductwork, as these can cause the AC or heater to run more than normal, and increase your electrical costs.
- Having poor insulation
Keeping cool air inside during the summer months is essential, but without a properly insulated roof or attic, this can prove troublesome and costly.
- Not having your HVAC air ducts professionally cleaned
Along with having your HVAC system inspected and maintained on at least an annual basis, if you run your heating and cooling system constantly without changing the air filter, or having your air ducts cleaned, it will not heat or cool your home efficiently, and cause a spike in your energy bills.
- Failing to address phantom power
Most appliances still draw power even when they’re turned off, and over time, this will add up on your energy bill. While it may not cost you much extra on your utilities, it costs you absolutely nothing to unplug appliances when not in use, so you may as well do so and save a buck or two.
- Improper usage of thermostats
When you’re tempted to turn down the thermostat to cool your home quicker, try to resist the urge! Doing so has no impact on how quickly your home cools down, and will only force your HVAC system to run for longer, costing you more.
- Wasting energy cooling an empty home
A programmable thermostat can help you monitor your energy consumption during periods of the day when you’re not at home, and prevent you from wasting energy.
- Failing to close vents in room that aren’t in use
Closing the duct vents in rooms that aren’t currently occupied, won’t save you money on your utilities, but will cause your HVAC to work inefficiently due to a disruption in the balance of vents.
So, there are a few things you can try to avoid doing in order to keep your utilities at a consistent rate, and avoid costly spikes when you least expect them. Why not start by having your HVAC system inspected and cleaned?