Replacing an air filter

Lower Your Utility Bills with These 8 Tips

Do you want to save money in your Queens, Nassau County, or New York City home? Here are eight ways to slash utility bills and get extra cash for summer fun:

1. Keep Your HVAC Filters Clean

Nothing drives up utility bills like a grungy filter. Worse yet, running your HVAC with a clogged filter can destroy your system.

Always check your filters every month. Indoor air pollution levels can change from one month to the next. It all depends on the current activity level in your household. When you can't light through the filter, then replace that filter pronto.

The Department of Energy tells us that replacing a dirty filter with a clean one could save up to 15 percent on energy costs.

2. Don’t Ignore Those Leaks

That drip, drip, drip of your leaky faucet can eventually become white noise if you ignore it long enough. However, just one leaky faucet can cost you $20 per month in wasted water.

Leaks are easy to fix if you have handyman skills. If not, a reputable local plumber can fix it without charging you an arm and a leg. Leaky faucet repair is an investment that will quickly pay for itself and prevent water waste every month.

3. Maintain Clearance Around Your Outdoor HVAC Unit

Any obstructions to airflow will make the unit work harder than it has to, and that will make utility bills go up. Make sure that the area around your outdoor AC unit is regularly cleared of branches, foliage, and debris. Ensure that the unit is level and on solid ground. Rinse it periodically with a gentle stream of water from a garden hose to remove accumulated dirt.

4. Schedule HVAC Maintenance Every Year

Air conditioning maintenance should be performed in early spring. Furnace maintenance should take place early in the fall. Skipping even one seasonal tune-up can make a significant difference in your utility bills. A poorly maintained unit will be inefficient. It has to push through an accumulation of dirty buildup to propel treated air through your home.

Not only will spotty maintenance cause utility bills to rise, but it will also damage your HVAC equipment. Excess wear and tear can cut the unit’s average life expectancy in half by causing premature equipment failure.

Annual HVAC maintenance optimizes equipment performance, and it can save you up to 30 percent on utility bills. It will keep your equipment warranties valid, and that could save you a fortune should something go wrong.

5. Check the Temperature Setting on Your Water Heater

Most water heaters have a default setting of 140 F. If you reduce that setting to 120 F, you could reduce your energy costs by 6 to 10 percent or from $6 to $20 annually.

6. Program Your Thermostat

Using a programmable thermostat can save you up to $180 a year in heating and cooling costs. However, the thermostat must be properly programmed to achieve those savings. Most people program the device to reduce heat or air conditioning output automatically when no one is home and while everyone is asleep.

Some homeowners find it confusing to program the device. In that case, your HVAC service technician can do it for you. Or you could also opt for a learning thermostat. These smart devices can determine your temperature preferences based on your behavior and maintain those settings for you.

7. Switch On Your Ceiling Fans

Fans can save you up to eight percent on cooling costs when used with your air conditioner. Fans don't change the temperature, but they do create a wind-chill effect that makes you feel cooler. You could also use fans instead of air conditioning on days when the temperature is not too hot.

8. Get a Modern HVAC System

If your furnace or air conditioner is nearing its personal end of days, upgrading to a new unit can slash utility bills while taking indoor comfort to a whole new level. A ductless mini-split, for example, provides heating and cooling in one unit. Ductless HVAC is a zoned system that doesn't require ductwork. Instead, treated air flows directly from the outdoor unit to one or more indoor units that are situated in rooms or zones where heated or cooled air is needed.

Today's air conditioners, heat pumps, and furnaces have efficiencies that greatly exceed those of even 10 years ago. A new HVAC installation will give you greater indoor comfort while saving on energy bills from day one.

Bottom line: The team at AWS Plumbing, Heating & Cooling is dedicated to the comfort of your home. We can help you to reduce utility bills while enjoying a healthier and more comfortable indoor environment. Call at (516) 217-2196 us now to learn more about our comprehensive residential HVAC and plumbing services.