As the cost of living continues to get higher and higher, finding ways to save some money is more important than ever. There are many ways you can improve your financial situation, and one excellent method is to reduce your household energy consumption. If you don’t make an effort to keep them in check, your electricity bills can quickly start to get out of hand — especially during the hot Fox Valley, WI summers and the freezing winters. Fortunately, by creating a few good habits and taking a few proactive measures, you can lower your energy costs without sacrificing your comfort.
1. Schedule an HVAC Tune-Up
Average energy bills are typically much more expensive during the hottest and coldest times of the year, and that’s due to heavier reliance on heating and cooling systems. As a result, many homeowners in the Fox Valley area are forced to choose between staying comfortable and saving money. However, if you can improve the efficiency of your home’s HVAC system, you can keep your household climate right where you want it without breaking the bank. One of the best ways to achieve this is to schedule a professional HVAC tune-up.
At Black-Haak, we offer HVAC maintenance for a reasonable price. One of our expert technicians will clean your home’s system, make adjustments to the equipment, and inspect for any hidden problems. As a result, you’ll notice some or all of these positive effects:
- Improved energy efficiency
- More consistent comfort
- Fewer HVAC problems
- Longer HVAC lifespan
- Improved indoor air quality
2. Install Ceiling Fans
When the sweltering summer weather arrives in Fox Valley, you may be tempted to keep the AC cranked up throughout the day. Doing so will certainly be refreshing, but it will also use up quite a bit of energy. Instead, you may want to consider using ceiling fans to keep your home cool. Ceiling fans are fairly inexpensive to install and require significantly less electricity than air conditioners. Of course, you can still use your AC unit, but switching to the fans for a few hours each day can save you large amounts of money throughout the summer. If you already have several of them in your home, then you’re good to go. If not, you could install a couple of them in the parts of your house where you tend to spend the most time.
3. Invest in Quality Insulation
If you want to save energy in your home, it’s imperative that you prevent conditioned air from escaping. When your home isn’t properly insulated, the air that your heating and cooling systems circulate will be much more likely to seep out of the living space. As a result, your HVAC system has to compensate for the loss, which requires more energy being used. Plus, your home comfort will suffer, and your heating and cooling units will be more likely to experience mechanical problems.
Consider investing in high-quality insulation for the various areas of your home. Places you may want to insulate include your attic, basement, ceilings, floors, and walls. There are several types of insulation you can go with, but the most popular option is spray foam insulation.
4. Replace Your HVAC Air Filters
Whenever you’re running your household heating or cooling system, your HVAC air filters are trapping airborne contaminants. Those filters only have so much space to hold dust, dirt, and debris, though, and eventually, they’ll become clogged. When that occurs, it makes it harder for the HVAC system to circulate air, forcing it to work harder and burn through more energy. Additionally, clogged air filters can have a negative impact on your comfort, your indoor air quality, and the overall health of your HVAC unit.
You can help keep your household as efficient as possible by regularly replacing your HVAC air filters with clean ones. Ideally, you should do this periodically throughout the year; fiberglass filters should be changed every month, and pleated filters should be changed every three months.
5. Dry Your Laundry Naturally
There are many things you do around the house daily that use up energy. Although you may not think about it, you’re marginally increasing your energy bills every time you run a load through your clothes dryer. Over the course of several months or a year, drying your clothing can actually add up to a significant chunk of money. To avoid this cost, consider drying your clothes the old-fashioned way instead. There are a couple of ways you can go about this; you could set up a clothesline in your yard, or you could simply hang the clothing on a drying rack or shower rod. It will take a bit longer than using the dryer, but if you’re in no hurry, it’s worth doing to save some energy.
6. Use Your Curtains Wisely
Believe it or not, but your household curtains and blinds can be effective tools for conserving energy. Windows are a common source of air leaks, but when the curtains are closed, much less air is able to escape. So, if you’re running your heating or cooling system, the conditioned air will be significantly less likely to seep out. That way, you’ll be able to give your HVAC unit more regular rest without sacrificing your family’s comfort.
When you’re dealing with the summer heat, consider closing the curtains and blinds during the day to keep the cool air trapped inside. During the freezing winter, on the other hand, you can close them up at night to help keep your home warm and cozy. If you make these regular habits throughout the year, it will save you quite a bit on energy costs.
7. Clean Your Ducts and Vents
Whenever you’re running your home’s HVAC system, the hot or cool air is flowing through your air ducts and out of your vents. When these pathways are clean, it’s easy for your heating and cooling appliances to operate effectively and efficiently. However, those ducts and vents can accumulate large amounts of dust, dirt, and debris over time. When that happens, it can obstruct the airflow of your HVAC system, which can worsen its energy efficiency and overall performance. Plus, dirty ducts and vents will worsen your home’s indoor air quality and cause a variety of other issues.
For your ductwork, you’ll want to enlist the help of local professionals to thoroughly clean them out. Ideally, you should have this service done every year or two to keep your HVAC system as efficient and healthy as possible. As for your vents, you should be able to clean them yourself. To do so, simply remove the protective covers with a screwdriver and use a vacuum hose to remove the accumulated contaminants.
When you need quality heating, cooling, plumbing, or electrical services in the greater Fox Valley area, you can always count on Black-Haak. We’ve been serving this area proudly since 1956, and over the years, we’ve become known for our professionalism and reliable service. Some of our other exceptional services include indoor air quality, geothermal systems, and commercial HVAC. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, just give us a call today!