Well, today I bring you some tips to ease the pain.
- Check your duct work. Head down to the basement or crawlspace. Take a couple tissues with you. Your goal is to check for big leaks. If you feel a lot of air coming through joint in the duct work, you can hold a tissue in front to pinpoint the leak. Repair with the shiny silver duct tape (works on most duct work). We discovered one whole segment of ducting had separated from the main line so no cold air was coming up to our bedroom. What a difference fixing it made!
- Check your vents. In the winter, close many of the vents upstairs. Heat rises, so you'll want to make sure downstairs is comfortable. That heat will rise and heat the upstairs. The reverse is true in the summer. Open all vents upstairs and limit the ones open downstairs.
- Check the temp. To save energy, try keeping the thermostat at 72 degrees in the summer and 68 degrees in the winter. For even more savings, try moving another degree or two.
- Check your doors. Rooms will heat and cool faster when closed off since open hallway spaces aren't being heated or cooled then.
- Check your fans. Fans use much less energy than air conditioners or heaters. Circulating air will make rooms more comfortable overall. Use ceiling fans throughout the year. Check the setting to see which direction the air is blowing. Have it blow up toward the ceiling in the winter to circulate warm air without cooling the room. Have it blow down in the summer to cool while circulating air.
- Check your thermostat. If you have a programmable thermostat, use it! If the house is empty during the day, don't pay to heat or cool it. Have the temperature set several degrees hotter or colder when the house is empty. Have it change an hour or so before arriving home. Consider lowering the temperature in the winter through the nights and use extra blankets to keep warm.
- Check your filter. Make sure your air filter is reasonably clean. It will improve air flow and will clean the air better than an old and dirty filter.
- Check your unit. Be sure to trim back weeds and plants from the outside unit. HVAC units need plenty of air flow to run efficiently.
- Check your usage. Get an energy audit. Many local power companies have free energy audits online. These audits will walk you through ways to make your home more energy efficient. Some companies will send technicians to your home to audit in person (usually for a small fee). Many companies will also do a free audit over the phone (mine has).
- Check the efficiency. When you do need to replace heating and air units, consider the efficiency of the new unit. Spending a little more upfront could save thousands over the life of the unit.
I hate those expensive seasonal bills. Using this checklist works for me! You may also want to consider getting on a budget bill pay plan where the cost is even through the year.
Want some more great tips? Check out Works for Me Wednesday over on We Are THAT Family.
Make sure you enter my giveaway for a $25 Kroger gift card!