Tips to Lower Your Energy Bill

Tips to Lower Your Energy Bill

It’s safe to say that, given the option, every home or business owner would like to lower their monthly energy bills. Cutting energy costs not only puts money back into your wallet, it’s also better for the environment. That being said, it takes a certain amount of energy to run a business or keep your home comfortable. The good news is that you can save money on your monthly bills without having to sacrifice your comfort, health, or safety. In fact, there are quite a few ways to boost efficiency, lower energy bills, and stay comfortable while doing so. Read on to learn more about how you can start saving money today!

It’s All about Efficiency

The most important factor in energy costs is the overall efficiency of your system. Any home or business owner knows that the more you run your heater or AC, the more you’ll pay. But, did you know that you can run your AC all summer and pay less if you have a more efficient system? Since they require less energy to operate, a highly efficient heating or cooling system will ultimately save you tons of money—without sacrificing your comfort.

You can boost your heating and cooling efficiency by:

  • Investing in a newer, more efficient system: While it may be a large initial investment, upgrading your old, outdated HVAC system to a newer, energy-efficient model will ultimately save you money in the long run. This is a great option for any home or business owner, especially those who need to run their heater and air conditioner fairly consistently.
  • Keeping vents and ducts open and clean: It may seem obvious, but closed, clogged, or dirty vents or air ducts block cooled or heated air from traveling throughout your home or business. While many people believe that closing vents to unused rooms will save you energy, the opposite is true. Your system will struggle to keep your space at a comfortable temperature, ultimately using more energy and costing you more money.
  • Considering a ductless, mini-split system: If you don’t use every room in your home, or you need extra heating/cooling power in certain areas, a ductless, mini-split system is a great solution. These energy efficient units are ideal for homes or apartments that lack traditional ductwork and/or central HVAC systems.
  • Promoting better air flow: When it comes to keeping your space warm or cool, proper air flow is important. Ceiling fans can be switched to run counter-clockwise when you want to keep a room cool and clockwise to trap in the heat. Additionally, standing fans can be used to improve your air flow and the heating/cooling power of your system.
  • Change your HVAC filters: Like dirty air ducts and vents, clogged filters can seriously reduce your system’s heating and cooling power. We recommend checking your HVAC filter every 30 days and cleaning or replacing it whenever it appears dirty, dusty, or clogged. This step is so important, we even include it in our annual HVAC maintenance service.
  • Taking advantage of the sun: Investing in high quality shades, blinds, or curtains can help you keep your home cool during the summer months, while opening up the windows to let in light can help warm your home in the winter. This can help you reduce the amount of time you need to run your heater or AC, saving you money in the process.
  • Scheduling bi-annual HVAC maintenance: Two tune-ups a year (one for your heater and one for your AC) can dramatically improve the efficiency of your existing system. Our technicians are specially trained to inspect, clean, and service all makes and models and we always look for ways to boost your system’s efficiency.

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Reduce Your Hot Water Usage

Another great way to save energy and cut costs is to reduce the amount of hot water you use. One of the simplest ways to do this is by washing your clothes in cold water. You might be surprised how much energy it takes to heat up your washing machine. Cleaning your clothes in cold or warm water can save you a ton of money each month on your bills. If possible, air drying your clothes will also help you cut costs by helping you avoid using the dryer. Additionally, taking shorter showers (think, 5 to 10 minutes) and making sure the dishwasher is completely full before running it can also lead to a noticeable decrease in your energy expenditure.

Improve Your Electricity Habits

Most people turn off their electronics when they’re done using them, but did you know that up to 75% of energy used by devices like computers, TVs, stereos, and kitchen appliances occurs while they are turned off? This is sometimes referred to as “phantom loads,” and it can cost you in the form of higher energy bills. An easy way to combat phantom loads is to plug your devices into power strips and turn the power strips off when you’re not using your home electronics and appliances.

If you are a business owner, you might not be able to unplug your appliances and electronics at the end of the day. Instead, be sure to have your employees shut down computers and unplug any personal devices at the end of the day, especially before the weekend.

Another major way to save money on your energy bills is to choose the right lighting. LED bulbs are much more efficient than their traditional incandescent counterparts and they last much longer. Though slightly more costly upfront, this simple switch will ultimately save you tons of money down the line. You can also install dimmer switches or automatic sensor lighting in your home or place of business.

Make the Switch to Solar

The most effective way to reduce your monthly energy costs is to choose solar-powered systems whenever possible. Whether it’s a solar-powered water heater or panels for your entire home, solar energy will save you the most money, month after month. Of course, installing solar power systems is a large investment and isn’t always an option for everyone. At Banks Quarles, we can help you determine the best solution for lowering your monthly energy bills.

Contact us at (205) 293-0021 to learn more, or to schedule heating, AC, or electrical services in Tuscaloosa and the surrounding areas!

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