How to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient

There’s nothing more aggravating than having to pay a hefty energy bill each month, especially if you have no idea what’s leading to the high cost. And while you could be using a little more electricity than normal these days (as so many of us have transitioned to working from home), the price hike may be due to your HVAC system.

Aside from cost, optimizing your home for energy efficiency also benefits the environment and reduces your carbon footprint–and who wouldn’t appreciate that? Here we outline some basic tips to lower your monthly bill while also making your home more energy-efficient:

Lowering the Heat When the House Isn’t Full

While we all want to come home to a comfortable, warm living area during the cooler months of the year, leaving the heat on when no one is home can cause more harm than good. This will cause your unit to operate continuously throughout the day, resulting in a significant increase in your monthly expenditures. There are two approaches for dealing with this:

Lower The Temperature On Your Thermostat

Keeping the heat on a lower setting during the day — especially when your home isn’t occupied — is one of the simplest ways to keep your home warm while lowering the risk of a large utility bill.

Consider setting the thermostat to 65° F before leaving the house, then boosting the temperature to 68° F (or whatever degree you choose) the moment you walk through the door.

Purchase a Smart Thermostat

Consider purchasing a smart thermostat to reduce your energy consumption. These cutting-edge devices are the ideal complement to your HVAC system because they allow you to control the temperature from almost anywhere in the world – as long as you have a smartphone and a reliable internet connection.

A smart thermostat also can send alerts to your smartphone, informing you when your unit requires maintenance (such as a simple filter change) or requires repair (if a critical piece of equipment has come loose).

Schedule Routine HVAC Maintenance Every Year

A yearly maintenance appointment for your HVAC unit is one of the smartest appointments you can make (apart from an annual visit with your doctor). The comfort system in your home should be tuned up twice a year, once in the fall and again in the spring. Even though the weather in Arizona is quite predictable, it is critical to keep these maintenance appointments.

For starters, a tune-up will help you become more familiar with your HVAC system and provide you peace of mind that the unit’s inner workings are in good working order. Another benefit of regular HVAC maintenance is that a professional will spot any minor issues (before they turn into something much bigger) and ensure that your unit is running as effectively as possible, which may help you save money on energy and lengthen the life of your unit.

Replace Your Air Filter Regularly

Sure, it’s easier said than done, but you’d be shocked how many people leave the same air filter in their home for months — if not years. Although this insignificant component of the HVAC puzzle may appear to have little impact on your unit’s performance, nothing could be farther from the truth.

The air filter performs exactly what its name suggests: it traps airborne particles before they enter your air ducts and are circulated throughout your home. If your air filter has been in place for more than three months, it may be harming rather than helping your unit (i.e., making your system work much harder to deliver the results you want).

To combat this, replace your filter every 90 days or so to reduce the likelihood of performance issues in the future.

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