We all like to be comfortable in our homes; unfortunately, constantly running heat and air conditioning can put a significant dent in our wallets. Many people think heating or cooling a house is an all-or-nothing game, but there are actually plenty of ways to make sure your house stays at a comfortable temperature without spending hundreds on your monthly heating bill.
Part of the process requires consistent maintenance of your heating system, but the other part is far easier—it involves simple choices you can make to save on your heating bill.
Whether you’re talking about a car, a computer, or an HVAC system, nearly everything works better with consistent maintenance. There are plenty of steps you can take to maintain your central heating system, and many of them can save you money on your heating bill.
The first thing you should do is make sure you have a good air filter. The higher the MERV rating on your air filter, the more contaminants it’s trapping. This is essential to maintaining indoor air quality and a comfortable temperature.
Speaking of air filters, you should make sure you replace yours every 90 days. As more and more air passes through an air filter, contaminants get trapped and impede airflow. Keeping your filter clean not only allows for more air to pass through, it also keeps the air you breathe free of harmful irritants.
You should also make sure your outdoor units have space to breathe. Keep leaves, pollen and grass away from your outdoor units, and make sure they have a few feet of space around them for airflow. As the winter months approach and it’s time to shut off the A/C, you should replace the furnace humidifier filter and turn the water (which you should have turned off in the summer) back on.
Inspecting the condensate drain and clearing it every now and then will help prolong the life of your heating and cooling unit. Lastly, you should occasionally make sure your HVAC unit is on level ground to promote proper drainage. Although these tasks relate more to the A/C, they’re an important part of prolonging the life of your system in general. If you aren’t comfortable performing this maintenance yourself, get help from a trusted HVAC company.
One of the easiest ways to save big on your heating bill is to become more vigilant about when and how you heat your home. This includes letting the temperature drop a bit when you’re away from home and promoting proper airflow when the heater is on.
When you’re not at home, you don’t need to keep your house at a cozy 70 degrees F. Each morning before you leave for work, turn your thermostat down a few degrees for the duration of the day. When you get home, you can turn it back up to your desired temperature and relax. A smart thermostat that connects to your smartphone allows you to change the temperature when you’re not at home, which means you can set it to your desired temperature and let it heat up as you drive home. If you don’t mind bundling up, choosing a sweater over those extra few degrees of heat can provide significant savings, too.
Fans are one of the most overlooked money-saving tools when it comes to heating your home. Fans simply promote airflow—nothing more, nothing less. By turning a ceiling fan on (set to the winter setting), you can spread heat throughout your home and save on your heating bill. Heating a home is always going to cost you, but it doesn’t have to be a fortune. Follow these simple tips and you can significantly lower your heating bill.