“He’s making a list – and checking it twice! Santa Claus is coming…to town.”
But if you make these naughty winter energy savings mistakes, he might cross your name off the list and give you a nice sack of coal:
1. Turning Your HVAC System Off
Think of how much money you’d save by not running your heating at all…
Wait a minute. Don’t do that – ever.
It actually puts a lot of stress on your HVAC system and costs you more in energy and wear on HVAC system than you get in savings.
Instead, change your thermostat based on activity levels in your home. If people are going to be in your house, and they’re going to be actively using it, use 68, or whatever your most comfortable setting is. If no one’s going to be around, or you’re all going to sleep, cut that to 60 (or 8 degrees lower than your comfortable setting).
Your energy bills – and your HVAC system – will thank you for it.
2. Not Changing Your Filter Costs You 15% in Wasted Energy
It’s easy to forget about your filter, among all the other things you have to do in life. The recommendation home inspectors and realtors give is to check yours every time you pay your mortgage.
If it’s a high-usage month, like you need serious heat every day like you do in January or February (or nearly every day), change your filter monthly. If it’s one of those “tweener” months like October or November, you can usually safely change your filter every 2 months.
3. Ignoring Obvious Problems
Umm…what was that noise you just heard? Or maybe your system cycles on and off constantly. Or maybe you don’t get nearly the heat you should.
Money gets low during the holidays. No doubt about it. But you can’t afford to ignore obvious HVAC system issues too long.
They only get worse and cost you more money. Try to get a no-interest financing plan if you can’t afford a large repair or replacement.
4. Your Water Heater is the Ultimate Villain of Energy Savings
Poor guy…he’s all alone at the top by himself. That’s cause your water heater sucks about 13% of your home’s entire energy usage.
From a cost and energy-savings perspective, gas water heaters beat the stuffing out of electric ones. Gas water heaters cost about 50% less than electric ones to buy, and they cost about $1300 less to operate over a 13-year period.
If you’re stuck with an electric one, turn the temperature down to 120 degrees. That keeps the water comfortably warm. And you’ll save around $20 per month.
Avoid those winter energy-savings mistakes…and watch your bank account swell this holiday season.