The change of season creates a need for many adjustments around your home, from switching over wardrobes to warmer clothes, to completing necessary yard work and home repairs. You can also make adjustments to ensure you get the most out of your heating and cooling dollars as temperatures change.
When you consider that space heating is the largest energy expense in the average U.S. home – accounting for 45 percent of energy bills, according to energy.gov – it makes sense to take steps to improve heating efficiency. Tackle this change-of-season checklist to help lower home energy costs now, before the long, cold winter sets in.Program your thermostat
An easy first step is to turn down the temperature on your thermostat, particularly while you’re away from home. You can save roughly 10 percent a year on your heating and cooling bills by turning your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for eight hours, according to energy.gov. And, since fall temperatures can fluctuate quickly, from warm and balmy during one part of the day to cold and blustery during another, consider a programmable thermostat that you can adjust remotely as weather conditions change.
For example, the Trane XL824 Smart Control Wi-Fi thermostat lets you program seven days of temperatures, with up to six schedules per day, as well as monitor temperatures and make adjustments remotely from a smartphone, tablet or computer. Compatible with Nexia Home Intelligence, the control enables you to receive temperature alerts via text and email. You can even view system-generated charts to determine how much energy you’re using, so you can immediately make adjustments to save money.
Change your furnace filter
When your HVAC system circulates and filters the air in your home, dust and dirt particles build up on the filter. Excessive accumulation can block the airflow, forcing the system to work harder to maintain the desired temperature. And the harder the system works, the more energy it uses. Your system will have to work less, use less energy and last longer if you clean or replace your filter monthly, or at least every three months.
Take steps to keep cold air out
Small cracks and holes throughout your home can be a source of heat loss. To help keep cold air out and warm air in, add weather-stripping around windows and doors. Consider adding insulation to your attic or crawl space. Even closing your drapes at night can help keep heat inside.
Protect outdoor HVAC equipment
Take some time to care for your outdoor HVAC unit, too. Clean off any fallen and decaying leaves from the fan grill so they won’t affect its operating efficiency.
Schedule annual HVAC servicing
Now is an ideal time to schedule an annual servicing checkup for your heating and cooling system. A qualified dealer can inspect your system and recommend any adjustments to ensure it is working properly and make any necessary repairs.
These steps will better prepare your home for the season change, and also keep your family more comfortable, no matter what the weather brings. So check off all the items on your list and watch those lower energy bills come in.