by Tiffany Martinez
(Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA)
Effective ways of lowering heating and cooling costs may often come into play when owning a home. This is because utility bills can run a little high at times. And because it happens as a result of excessively using the heat and/or the air, many try to find creative alternatives that will lead to a lower utility bill cost or just a way to save a little more energy. The problem that generally happens with heating and cooling the household is the seasons and how it can affect a home.
During the summer, homeowners can find that they turn the air down as a means to get the house cooler, not realizing that the issue is really the thermal envelope of the house being poorly constructed and the house suffering as a result of it. This is the same during the winter except the heat is what is increased as a means to the house warm. However, heat can escape through things like open fireplaces or slips underneath the cracks of doors or in insulated areas completely. As the heat escapes, the homeowner turns up the heat to try to replace what the house has lost.
The issue with heating and air systems is that most feel that the problem that arises is a result of there being an issue with the system. However, it very rarely is. As stated above, most of the time, problems with how your house feels is a result of how it is built. A homeowner can save a lot of money and gain a lot of comfort by finding ways to maintain and upgrade the equipment they have to make a comfortable livable space out of what they already have.
While it is important to maintain the heating system you have, it is just as important to upgrade the whole house through updating insulation, thermostat settings and air sealing. Through this, environmental emissions can be reduced anywhere from 20 percent to 50 percent.
When investing in an energy efficient product, keep an eye out for high Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency ratings. The minimum rate is 78%, so if anything falls below that, buyer beware. But if anything goes above that, feel free to purchase. It is an investment that will do you good in the long run.
During the winter months, set your thermostat to the lowest setting in which you feel comfortable at, vice versa for the summer. Never adjust and readjust because the house feels too hot or too cold, you’re wasting energy. Replace and/or clean furnace filters once a month. Clean baseboard heaters, radiators, and warm-air registers regularly. There are a lot of ways to incorporate energy saving into the way you heat your home. It just has to be done the right way.