Seven Ways to Lower Your Utility Costs
In the Valley of the Sun, the average 2,000-square-foot home spends about $160 per month for electrical power, or $1,920 per year. In summer, the cost of electrical usage goes up dramatically with some larger homes paying $500-$600 and more per month. During winter months, the cost of electricity for heating drops significantly unless the home is using electrical power for heating.
Larger homes with multiple heating and cooling systems pay substantially more to stay comfortable year-round. Homes with heating and cooling systems that are more than 10 years old also pay more. Homes with a heat pump heating and cooling system will experience much less variation.
Here are seven steps that a homeowner can take to reduce the cost of electrical usage:
- Replace HVAC System – If your system is more than 10 years old, if it has been requiring repairs over the past few years, if your summer electrical bills have been going up, or if it is not doing a good job keeping your home comfortable, it may be time for a replacement. Look for a new system with 90% or higher efficiency.
- Keep System in Good Repair – No matter how old your system is, it needs regular service. Semper Fi Heating & Cooling offers a 29-point tune-up for only $17.75. You don’t drive your car for years without service. Your heating and cooling system needs occasional service too. Your system will operate better and more efficiently. It will have a longer peak operating life if it is properly tuned up.
- Home Insulation – The amount and quality of insulation in your home makes a big difference in the energy required for heating and cooling. The effectiveness of your insulation goes beyond the basic R-value of the insulation material used. Talk to an insulation expert to determine if your home is properly insulated to maximize energy efficiency. Don’t forget windows and doors; they need to be adequately sealed to avoid air leaks.
- Smart Thermostat – Are you heating and cooling an empty house for a big part of every day? Do you remember to turn the thermostat down every night? A smart thermostat can adapt to your daily routines and reduce your energy usage when you are away. The cost of a smart thermostat is relatively low compared to the savings in electrical usage that will result.
- Seal Air Leaks in Ducts – It is not uncommon for as much as one-third of heated or cooled air to leak out of unsealed ducts. If your ducts haven’t been checked for several years, there is a good chance there are leaks. While you are getting the air ducts sealed, it is a good practice to get your air ducts cleaned to improve the quality of the air that you breathe.
- Lower Hot Water Temperature – Lowering the temperature on your hot water heater will reduce your energy usage. There are no smart thermostats for water heaters; they keep your hot water at a set temperature day and night, whether you’re home or away, on vacation or not. If the temperature is set lower, it will use less gas or electric. Like newer air conditioners, newer water heaters are also more energy efficient. If your water heater is 10-20 years old, you may find that replacing it with a newer one will have a reasonably quick payback.
- Appliance Replacement – Your water heater is not the only home appliance that contributes to your total utility bill. Appliances such as washers and dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are all available in newer energy-efficient models.
Don’t want another summer of $500 electrical bills? There are ways to reduce your utility costs. Call Semper Fi Heating & Cooling to learn about your specific energy efficiency options.
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