Practically every household in America is overpaying its utility bill as 35% of the energy used is actually wasted. However, there are many inexpensive ways to lower these costs.

Impact of Your HVAC System on Your Utility Bill

The U.S. Department of Energy reported that cooling and heating account for half of a home’s energy consumption. The actual figure depends on the state, the size of your home and your usage habits. By accounting for the majority of a home’s energy usage, HVAC contributes the most to your Columbia Gas utility bill.

The fact of the matter is that heating and cooling raise your energy consumption significantly, with your HVAC taking as much as 7 percent of an average annual income. Interestingly, larger space costs more to properly heat or cool even when is HVAC less frequently used than average whereas someone living in a studio will pay less even if they tend to use their HVAC more often.

After HVAC, water heating equipment used for cooking, doing laundry and bathing accounts for 25% of the utility bill. It is followed by refrigerators and freezers that account for up to 10%, unless they are placed in areas that receive direct sunlight or near heat sources that would make them work even harder and consume more energy.

Larger pieces of equipment and appliances typically account for the highest energy consumption and many of those are to blame for astronomical bills on both a monthly and yearly basis. But HVAC remains #1.

Keep Your Heating and Cooling Costs Down With These Tips

Most of us cannot live without heating and cooling in our home. But, even if utility bills are an unavoidable part of life, skyrocketing bills aren’t. To begin with, you can dress for the occasion and invest in some blankets for your HVAC to work less hard.  There are many other simple things you can do lower your heating and cooling costs.

Proper insulation

This is the most important energy-saving factor because if your house is losing heat too rapidly, your HVAC will have to work overtime just to maintain the set temperature.

Adapt to the weather

Let the sunshine in during winter by leaving blinds and curtains open. But during summer, keep them closed to prevent the sun’s rays to further heat up your home. During the spring and summer, use light fabrics like cotton to keep you cooler at night. When it’s chilly outside, you may want to swap your light linens for flannel and add an extra blanket.

Long story short, use nature’s free energy to heat your home and keep heat out to cool your home and lower HVAC bills altogether. Within the same framework, limit the use of heat-producing appliances during warm months to avoid adding excess heat to the house such as cooking on the stove and eat a salad instead.

Proper maintenance

A little bit of maintenance goes a long way when it comes to your home’s heating and cooling systems. Clean or change the filters in your furnace and air conditioner every 30 days. Not only will this help your systems work more efficiently, but it will drastically reduce the chance of system breakdowns that could result in costly repairs. A little bit of dirt can cause major problems so make sure your unit is clean and free of debris.

Leave the thermostat alone

Frequently changing your thermostat settings wastes a lot of energy. You can consider investing in a programmable thermostat that can save you even more money when used properly.

Make sure your house is sealed

Seal air leaks and drafty doors with caulk. Prevent heat from escaping by weatherstripping fireplaces and windows to prevent heat from escaping. Adding the proper amount of new insulation can pay for itself as lower HVAC bills are guaranteed.

Takeaway – According to Energy Star, the average American household spends more than $2,000 a year on energy bills. By following the above tips, you can do better. Any investment you make into making your home energy-friendly will pay for itself in terms of lower energy bills.