Common Mistakes Which Affect Energy Costs

Even if you get regular maintenance, there are some ways you can conserve energy and, in turn, convert that into savings for you and your family. In the winter and summer months, we keep our heaters and air conditioners on a lot. Even something as simple as getting maintenance before your heating or cooling seasons starts can help in the long run. We've compiled a list of common mistakes which affect energy costs from homeowners all over the country - so take a look!

Not changing air filters constantly

A clogged air filter will result in less efficient HVAC systems because it reduces airflow to your system's heating or cooling parts. This, in turn, results in lower system efficiencies and, therefore, higher heating or cooling costs. Air filters should be changed weekly in HVAC systems and preferably once a month in ductless systems.

Failing to insulate the water heater

Water heating can be one of the most expensive parts of an HVAC system. Water heating accounts for 10-20% of your annual energy bill, so insulating this area can greatly help your wallet. If you have a hot water recirculation pump, turn it off during the winter, when heat is needed in your home more than hot water.

Keeping the thermostat set too high

Letting your heating or cooling system run at 70 degrees all day long is a great way to spend money on energy costs. This increases the use of air conditioning and heat, resulting in increased electricity costs for you. It's also a great way to cool down your house, which may be unnecessary. Don't be tempted by your thermostat setting - make sure you keep it below 70 outside; your heating and cooling system will take over until the spring.

Not insulating the attic

Your attic provides a great place for heat to dissipate during the winter months, and if not insulated properly can result in higher heating bills and less efficient HVAC systems. Insulate attics with blown-in-foam insulation that is rated R-50 or greater. This will help prevent heat from escaping the house and reduce your winter energy costs by up to 22%.

Not installing a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat is a great way to control your heating and cooling costs when you are around. A programmable thermostat will allow you to pre-set temperatures for the day so that if you're not at home, your HVAC system is still on - but at a lower temperature. This can save you up to 20% on heating costs during winter and 10% on cooling bills in the summer.

Not paying attention to household temperature

To keep your HVAC systems running at optimal performance, you must pay attention to your household temperature. Depending on the season and weather, your house can rise or lower a couple of degrees in the winter or summer. If you're running your HVAC system in the winter but still feel cold when you go out to say good morning or answer the door, it's a big indication of a problem.

Not turning off the air conditioning during the day

In the summer, many people set their thermostat to 78 degrees - and then are surprised when they come home to find that it's hotter inside than outside. The same applies in the winter; if you set your thermostat at 70, and it's cold outside, you're wasting money. Your HVAC system is either working hard to keep you warm in a very cold house or is not working hard enough because it's too hot inside. Either way, it's spending money on electricity that you could otherwise save.

Skipping weatherstripping and caulking

Weather stripping and caulk are two things that they meant to stop air leaks, but they are also cheap and keep the summer air in. If you can find a way to seal your windows with weather strips and caulk, it will result in more efficient HVAC systems, which then help you save money over the long run.

Not sealing the heat ducts

Heat ducts can leak a lot of heat, to the surprise of many people who don't even know they are there. Sealing the heat ducts in your HVAC system can help make it more efficient and lower energy costs. Sealing these ducts will reduce heating costs by up to 15%.

Not insulating the hot water tank

If you have an older hot water tank, it's time to replace it. Newer tanks are insulated outside, leaving more room for insulation on the inside. Insulating the inside can reduce costs and help keep your tank cleaner.

Not having an annual maintenance plan

Annual maintenance plans are a great way to get annual service work done on your HVAC system, ensuring that it stays in good condition for years to come. You'll find that by having annual maintenance done, you're running less risk of a breakdown, saving money on expensive repairs. Maintenance plans will also include safety checks, cleaning, and other checks that will result in a more efficient HVAC system.

Using your fireplace as a heat source

Fireplaces can be great, but they're not a replacement for your heating system. They barely stay warm in a 20-degree room in the winter and are only good for heat if you're already warm. Fireplaces are better used as decorative pieces rather than an alternate heat source.

Not turning off appliances when you leave the house

Many people are used to leaving their lights on when they leave the house, but this is not so good for your HVAC system. It can lead to a breakdown, which will have you spending more money on repairs. So turn your electronics and appliances off before leaving at night - it's good for the environment and your wallet!

Not insulating windows

Insulating windows can help reduce heating and cooling costs. If you can insulate the windows, your HVAC systems will have to work less to keep your house at the desired temperature. It's a great way to save money and reduce energy consumption on heating and cooling costs.

Not insulating pipes

Insulating pipes is also a great way to save money on heating and cooling costs. It can shave off as much as 20% on heating and up to 20% on cooling costs. Insulating pipes will help keep your house warm in the winter and cool in the summer - and it's a great way to save money.

Not cleaning your filters and vents regularly

You should be cleaning your filter and your HVAC system every few months. Dirty filters can reduce the efficiency of your system and make it harder for you to save money. Filters that are dirty or clogged can reduce the amount of air flowing through your ducts while they're heating and cooling, which will increase costs. Air that's only going through one side of the fan is not as efficient as air being blown through both sides. In order to make your system more efficient, you need to clean or replace it on a regular basis.

Using your humidifier in the winter

Humidifiers are great for reducing dry skin and keeping the air around your throat and nose from getting too dry. But in the winter, using a humidifier can lead to condensation on the windows, which then freezes. It can also lead to mold, mildew, and dust mites. It's better to turn off all moisture generation systems in your house when you aren't using them - that includes humidifiers, dehumidifiers, air purifiers, or ionizers.

In conclusion, there are many things you can do to make your HVAC system more efficient. By making these changes, you can not only reduce your energy costs in the long run but also begin saving money right away. You'll begin saving money by reducing energy consumption and making your HVAC system work more efficiently, which means less wear and tear on your equipment. By making these changes, you can save up to 30% on heating and cooling costs. You can also save money by using new technologies that are more efficient than older ones.