During the past year or so homeowners have enjoyed a bit of a respite from out of control energy prices. Unfortunately, if history teaches us anything, it’s that such downward pressure in the energy market won’t last very long. It doesn’t make sense to worry about the injustice of it though. A better thing to do is have a plan in place so that, when prices begin their inevitable rise, you’ll be prepared.
10 Way to Keep Your Heating and Air Conditioning Costs in Check in 2016
The most effective way to fight rising energy costs is with a healthy dose of common sense. Here are ten ways to make sure you keep a lid on your heating and air conditioning bills in 2016.
- Schedule an inspection – Heating and air conditioning systems are like cars; they need the occasional tune up to run their best. Have a qualified HVAC tech in to look at your system and make any necessary adjustments.
- Check your vents – Go through the entire house and make sure there are no curtains, boxes, books, furniture or anything else blocking the vents. The harder it is to get the hot air where it’s needed the more energy you’ll waste.
- Close vents in empty rooms – There’s no point heating an empty room. Make sure vents are closed in any unoccupied rooms and that the doors are closed as well. If there is a door to the attic stairway make sure that’s closed too.
- Use ceiling fans – If you have ceiling fans you should put them to use. Because heat rises it will accumulate in the upper reaches of a room. The ceiling fan will circulate it back down toward you where it’s needed.
- Turn down the heat – On average you’ll save 2% (+/-) for every degree you lower the heat. Lower the thermostat 3 degrees and you’re looking at 5% or more in savings and all you may need to cope is a nice warm pair of socks.
- Install a programmable thermostat – Even better than just turning down the heat, install a programmable thermostat so that the heat is automatically lowered at night and during the day when no one is home.
- Make use of available heat – If you’ve baked something leave the oven door open when you’re done and let that heat warm the kitchen. Likewise if you take a hot shower leave the exhaust fan off and open the bathroom door when you’re done.
- Seal off the fireplace – If your home has a fireplace you could be losing a lot of heat up the chimney. Whenever it’s not in use make sure the flue is shut and keep the fireplace doors closed tight.
- Use a window insulation kit – If your home has single pane windows spend a few bucks and pick up some window insulation kits at the hardware store. They won’t win any ‘house beautiful’ awards but they’ll save you money.
- Air conditioning – When it comes to saving money on air conditioning many of the same tips will apply. Don’t cool unused rooms, make sure the vents are clear, keep things a few degrees warmer than you might want and install a programmable thermostat. Also, if you have ceiling fans use them instead of air conditioning whenever you can.
For more than 20 years Toronto Heating and Air Conditioning Company has been helping the people of Toronto make more efficient use of their HVAC systems by providing sound advice and timely, affordable maintenance services. Don’t let rising energy costs get the better of you in 2016. Talk to one of our heating and air conditioning pros about these and other ways to curb your energy bills.