Ways to Lower your Winter HVAC Utility Bill
It is a perfect storm when it comes to what residents in the Tri-Cities are confronting this winter when it comes to potentially skyrocketing energy bills — but there are way to have lower utility bills. Heading into winter, there is a 43-percent increase in the cost of heating oil compared to a year ago, with also the cost of natural gas doubling this year.
Add to these higher prices for heating oil and natural gas to the prediction by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for a colder, wetter winter than normal for the Pacific Northwest. In fact, the Inland Northwest is forecasted to have a 50-percent chance of colder weather than usual during the 2021-2022 winter, according to NOAA. The Pacific Northwest is also likely to experience more precipitation than normal this winter, which means potentially more snow for residents in the Tri-Cities.
The Old Farmers Almanac calls this winter the “season of shivers.”
It is no wonder that those of us who live in the Tri-Cities are searching for ways to lower our HVAC utility bills this winter. With unusually cold weather on the way, and energy sources seeing near-record price increases, the motivation is greater than ever to identify ways to save money on our utility bills.
7 Ways to Save Money on Your HVAC Utility Bills
Check Insulation for Your Home
It is always wise to inspect the weatherstripping around your doors and the caulking around your windows, and it could potentially lower your utility bills. But small air leaks can result in sizable jumps in your HVAC utility bills as your HVAC system is having to work much harder to heat your living spaces. Whenever your HVAC works harder, you pay more.
Be sure to also check the insulation in your attic, or insulate your attic if you have not done so. It can make a significant difference for energy savings in the form of lower utility bills.
Also, look where the foundation of your home meets the framing and where wiring conduits and plumbing enter through the foundation. In order to prevent cold air from coming into your living spaces, try plugging holes with a combination of caulk, weatherstripping, or expandable foam. This will also lower your HVAC utility bill.
Typical places where air leaks tend to occur include the following:
- Door and window frames
- Electrical outlets
- Electrical and gas service entrances
You should also cover your water heater with an insulating jacket. This is especially important if it is installed in an unheated area of your property. You can save additional energy by insulating accessible sections of hot water pipes. These are additional helpful ways to lower your HVAC utility bill.
Let the Sun In
Whenever we experience sunny days, take advantage of the sun’s heating powers by opening drapes and curtains. This allows the sunlight to naturally heat your home. Close the curtains at night to keep the cold night air out and result in lowering your utility bill.
You will also benefit from skylights with more of the sun’s energy heating your indoor air.
Upgrade to a Smart Thermostat
Upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat will more than pay for itself in a short period of time. This device will literally save you money while you sleep as it automatically lowers the heat output during the night, as well as when you are away from home. This translates into substantial savings of potentially $50 to $100 or more per year on your energy costs, according to Energy Star.
Smart thermostats equip you with greater flexibility with your home heating system. For example, some of these thermostats track your temperature preferences and use that data to maximize your heating and cooling schedule. Other thermostats offer multiple sensors that monitor temperatures in different areas of your home, offering you more balanced or even heating in your living spaces.
Again, these smart thermostats will ultimately lower your utility bills
Inspect Your Air Filters
If you have your furnace regularly serviced, replacing the air filters will come with this maintenance service. Ideally, you should change your air filters every few months. This allows you to maintain proper airflow, which makes your furnace operate more efficiently, resulting in lower utility bills.
You will find that dust can accumulate on your filter over a period of a few months, which obstructs the airflow to the rest of your home. This results in your HVAC system working harder than it should. And that produces higher energy bills.
It is also advised that you make sure your warm-air filters in all your living spaces are not blocked by furniture or anything else, as this will also make your home energy system less efficient.
Have Maintenance Performed Regularly on Your Furnace
It should be an automatic act to have your furnace thoroughly inspected every fall by a professional HVAC technician to ensure it is operating at peak efficiency. Doing so will extend its lifespan and save you money in the form of lower utility bills, including during the cold winter months.
The technician will check to be sure every part of your heating system works properly, and confirm that the air is flowing throughout your home so occupants stay warm and cozy.
Close Chimney Damper
While your fireplace keeps you warm and comfortable during the cold of winter, if you keep the damper open you are letting plenty of cold air to seep into your home. You don’t want cool drafts to raise your utility bills because your HVAC unit is working harder to warm your house.
Closing your chimney damper will help you lower your HVAC utility bill.
Reverse Ceiling Fans
Reverse the ceiling fans in your home, meaning turn the fan clockwise and put it at a slow speed. This way, instead of creating airflow that results in cooler air, your fan will push warm air downward, which makes you feel warmer. You will also enjoy lower utility bills.
Look to Apollo Heating and Air Conditioning for Expert Furnace Installs & Service!
Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning is the Northwest leading provider for heating service for homes and businesses in the Tri-Cities. We not only evaluate and help you control the comfort and quality of your home’s air, we can also offer solutions for managing your energy costs.
Our maintenance service optimizes the efficiency of your system, while also reducing the likelihood of a breakdown.
At Apollo Heating & Air Conditioning, we understand that the function of your heating system is a high priority. That is why we are committed to exceptional service and repair of your furnace to ensure it works flawlessly this winter.