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Home Heating Costs

Choose the right HVAC unit to minimize your heating and cooling bills all year. Image: Photographee.eu/Shutterstock

We love saving money. Did you know that you can save money each year with the right HVAC unit? Your home’s heating and air conditioning use almost half of your home’s energy, so it makes sense to maximize your HVAC unit’s efficiency. Making a few smart moves with your existing HVAC can also reap benefits on your heating and cooling bills.

Start with the right size HVAC unit for your home

You may be shopping for a new HVAC unit because your old one has failed, or it’s time to upgrade. By choosing the right size and type of HVAC system for your home, you can save money on monthly utility costs.

Your local HVAC dealer or utility company can provide you with an energy audit or calculation to help you choose the most efficient unit for your home. The professionals will take your home’s heating and cooling needs, and environment, into account when helping you choose the correct size unit.

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Summer Home Cooling Costs

Save money on your cooling bills this year. Image: Antoha713/Shutterstock

A bigger HVAC isn’t always better

The wrong sized HVAC system can cost more money to operate — units that are too small or too large for your home are inefficient.  An inadequate HVAC unit can drive up your utility costs as it struggles to heat or cool your home when the temperatures rise or fall dramatically. A too-large HVAC will have difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, and will need to cycle on and off repeatedly.

If you’re between HVAC unit sizes, going larger is the choice recommended by experts, as long as you stay within the following range. Do not exceed:

  • 15% over your recommended BTU for air conditioning.
  • 40% over your recommended BTUs for heating.
  • 25% over your recommended combined BTUs for a heat pump.

Choosing the right type of HVAC system can save you money

HVAC systems are either a separate furnace and air conditioner, or a heat pump which combines the two. If your home is all-electric, a heat pump could be your only option. Many people who have natural gas or propane available still choose heat pumps because of their one-unit simplicity. Heat pumps may cost more per month to run, as electricity is typically more expensive than other fuels. It can get more expensive and inefficient to run a heat pump when you live in a climate zone with harsh winter or summer temperatures, so be sure to take your climate zone into account.

An HVAC system with a separate gas or propane furnace and air conditioning can help you control monthly utility bills, as you’ll be relying on a less-expensive fuel to run the furnace only during the cold months.

 

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Thermostat Setting HVAC Unit

The right thermostat setting can save you money each year. Image: NavinTar/Shutterstock

Managing your thermostat 101

Maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the year can yield savings on your heating and cooling bills.  Setting your thermostat to a consistent 78 degrees in the warm months can save you up to 10% on your energy bill each year. The Department of Energy calculates a 3% savings on cooling expenses for every degree you set above 72 degrees. Your heating bills can also benefit from maintaining a consistent temperature. Your thermostat plays a big role in regulating the perfect temperature in your home, for comfort and savings. A programmable thermostat allows you to heat and cool your home on your schedule.

Choosing a smart thermostat can save you money by using automatic settings to cool and heat your house efficiently. The new smart thermostats can be run with an app or a remote, so that you can manage your home’s interior climate from anywhere inside or outside your home. Voice or WiFi controlled smart thermostats are perfect for cold mornings when you aren’t ready to get out of bed to turn up the heat.

Simple money-saving HVAC strategies

If you’re not buying a new HVAC unit right now, or already have one that works well in your home, you can still try these simple strategies to maximize your cost savings. Your HVAC unit can use some help to operate efficiently, which means better heating and cooling bills for your home.

  • Cleaning: Regular cleaning of vents, or replacement of filters can help your HVAC.
  • Maintenance: Follow the manufacturer’s schedule for maintaining your HVAC unit.
  • Fans: Adding fans to your home during the warm months can help you save on cooling bills by improving personal comfort, and allowing you to lower your thermostat.
  • Vents: Be sure that your HVAC vents are registers are clean and unobstructed.
  • Manage your blinds and curtains to keep the sun’s heat out on warm days.
  • Monitor your windows and doors for leaks and drafts — they can add up to energy loss.

Still have questions? Talk to an expert

Your local HVAC dealer can help you decide which HVAC unit is right for you, and how to get optimal energy efficiency for your home.

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