Here at Shipton’s Heating & Cooling, we have yet to meet any customer who gets excited about paying to keep their home cool in summer or warm in winter.
But we do hear from many customers each week when their HVAC system suddenly stops cooling or warming properly!
In some cases, it is a simple fix to get their air conditioner or furnace back up and running again. In other cases, more extensive repairs or even a full replacement may be in order.
But in all cases, the repair or replacement service call also gives us a chance to pass along tips to help them pay less for heating and cooling in the future.
In this post, we share four of our favorite lesser-known money-saving HVAC tips with you!
These 4 Tips Can Help You Save Up to 30 Percent on Utility Bills!
According to Natural Resources Canada, the costs of heating and cooling together account for a jaw-dropping 64 percent of the average Canadian’s annual energy bill.
Here in Ontario, the average family reports spending around $2,358 for energy annually.
(For the record, not a single Canadian family reports being happy about shouldering such a hefty bill each and every year.)
But what you can be happy about is that these tips can help you shave up to 30 percent, or a cool $452, off of your annual energy bill.
1. Air duct cleaning and repair
Air conditioners and air ducts are both components that usually get noticed only when problems crop up.
Yet one of the best ways to make sure problems don’t ever arise is to take some time at least once per year to pay active attention to both.
This is especially the case when air ducts start to get clogged with debris or old age causes them to sag, leak or tear. This is one of the fastest ways to drive up your energy bill.
Leaking, sagging, torn or congested air ducts simply can’t do their job very well. Your indoor air gets dirtier and more toxic and you start paying more to cool your indoor space because some of that cooled air is leaking out as it passes through each air duct.
For your own safety and your family’s health, it isn’t advisable to attempt to clean out the insides of your air duct corridors on your own. The only safe way to clean and sanitize your ducts is with a negative pressure vacuum, and this type of professional-grade equipment is often cost-prohibitive to acquire for personal use.
Plus, in most cases you don’t need to clean out your air ducts frequently, so it makes more sense to bring in a pro to do a professional indoor air duct cleaning as needed.
Repairing and sealing air duct tears or leaking connection points is a job you may or may not want to tackle on your own. Some homeowners will take a do-it-yourself approach here while others may not have the time or inclination to spend the weekend sweating it out.
Either way, the end result is that you get all of the cooled (or heated) air you are paying for going exactly where you want it to go without any toxic detritus along for the ride or air leaks increasing your energy bill.
2. Insulate, insulate, insulate
While we’re on the topic of air ducts, did you know it is possible to insulate your air duct system to further lower your energy bill?
In the same way that closing the door of your refrigerator conserves cold air and wrapping yourself in a winter coat holds in body heat, insulating your ducts will keep your temperature-controlled air at maximum coolness or warmth until it gets to its final destination.
Replacing aged weather stripping, adding extra wall, ceiling or floor insulation, installing a radiant barrier in your attic, caulking up small holes or cracks and similar tasks can also help your home retain all of your temperature-controlled air year-round.
Here again, some homeowners enjoy tackling these types of DIY projects. If you don’t have the tools or the time, you may prefer to have a pro do it for you.
3. Clean off the A/C coils and change the air filter
The average HVAC system has two sets of coils. Inside are the evaporator coils and outside are the condenser coils.
Not surprisingly, over time both sets of coils can start to pick up dust, dirt and debris. The dirtier each set of coils becomes, the harder they have to work to do their respective jobs of converting refrigerant and managing heat energy.
Similarly, a dirty filter is going to cause the inside components of your HVAC system to get dirtier faster, driving up your energy bill and simultaneously causing a home fire risk.
Just changing that dirty filter out for a fresh one (or cleaning and replacing a reusable filter) can save you up to 15 percent on your annual energy bill.
4. Guard your thermostat from heat sources
This tip is so intuitive that most of us miss it entirely!
But what happens when you stand next to your hot stove or oven? You start to feel hotter, right? Conversely, have you ever found yourself shivering while walking through the frozen foods section of the grocery store?
You want to do everything you can to guard your thermostat from these types of outside heating or cooling influences.
Drawing blinds and moving lights or appliances farther from it are examples of how to keep your thermostat from thinking it is hotter or colder inside your home than it actually is and cycling on unnecessarily.
Get in Touch
Do you need help with air duct cleaning, insulation, weather stripping or other energy-saving maintenance?