In the winter we often spend a little bit more time indoors with our loved ones. While there’s nothing wrong with cozying up with our families, this means our energy consumption is bound to increase. We know that higher energy use is harder on your wallet and on your HVAC system. Do you find yourself prone to these five bad energy-zapping winter habits?
Keeping your heat cranked all day and all night is often an unnecessary measure. The harder your heating unit has to work, the more energy it consumes, and the more it will ultimately cost. Like other appliances, your furnace or heat pump will greatly benefit from the occasional break.
Try this: Instead of leaving the heat on 24/7, consider being strategic with your settings. During the day when no one is home and in the middle of the night, you don’t need it to be toasty. At these times, set the temperature a few degrees lower than you normally would.
Ignoring the Furnace Filter
Your furnace filter is designed to keep debris from getting into your furnace as it works to heat your home. Allowing that debris to build up on its surface forces the unit to work harder to pull air into the system. As it struggles to bring air in, your HVAC will draw more and more energy.
Try this: Check your filters once every 1-2 months for build-up and switch them out when they start to look gross. Most homes in the Wickenburg area should change their filters 2-3 times a year, but it depends on how many people and pets are living there.
Using Space Heaters
Space heaters appear to be a great way to heat a smaller area, and it can be tempting to use them as your main source of heat. Unfortunately, space heaters draw a lot of electricity, contributing a fair amount to your monthly utility bills. This is because they are designed to provide a lot of heat for a short period of time. Regular use can be disastrous to your budget.
Try this: Consider why you’re using space heaters instead of utilizing your heating unit. If your heater isn’t doing its job, you should look at getting it repaired or replaced. Sure, it will cost more upfront, but you’ll end up reducing your energy consumption considerably.
Keeping the Blinds Closed During the Day
There’s a reason why many species hibernate during winter. The days are shorter and the chilly air makes us want to retreat inside. The problem with shutting out all the light is that the sunlight we do get cannot penetrate the blinds. This leaves us with higher bills for two reasons: for one, we turn on more lights in the house, and for another, we deflect any heat that the sunshine may have offered.
Try this: Open up your blinds during the day to let the sun in. Not only will this feel great on your energy bill and be less tempting to flip on lights, but we guarantee you that the extra vitamin D will do wonders for your mental health as well!
Skipping Out on Seasonal Maintenance
We know you have a thousand and one things on your mind; taking care of the kids, projects at work, getting the car in for an oil change. HVAC maintenance may very well be the last thing you have on your list, if it even made it on there! That being said, throughout the year your HVAC works very hard to keep you comfortable. During that time it may develop small problems which may not seem very important. Small problems quickly turn into big inefficiencies. At best they drive up your energy bills, at worst they cause equipment failure.
Try this: Schedule annual or biannual maintenance with a trusted HVAC technician. They will perform an inspection and tune-up to ensure everything is in working order and give you peace of mind that your furnace isn’t going to break down any time soon.
Keeping your energy consumption manageable during the winter months is entirely possible if you work on breaking some of these energy-zapping habits! For other energy-saving tips, check out our blog or give us a call! We’d be happy to help answer any and all of your HVAC questions!