Are You Spending Too Much on Heating and Cooling?
If the heating and cooling bills for your Little Rock, Arkansas, home are constantly on the rise, you may be looking for ways to get them under control. Many homeowners don’t realize that their bills are higher than they should be, but using some helpful tips can help you figure out whether yours are through the roof. Comparing your past bills, researching your area, and performing a home energy audit are some ways to take a closer look.
Compare Past Bills
It’s easy to assume that your bills are higher than ever, but many homeowners forget from year to year just how high they can get during the summer and winter months. In Central Arkansas, the hot temperatures and high humidity levels of summer are tough to manage if you don’t have a functional air conditioning system that can remove the moisture from the air and maintain a comfortable temperature indoors. Most people notice a sharp increase in their electricity bills during the summer months, but it’s likely tied to your AC usage. As it gets colder, the gas bill tends to increase since many home furnaces use natural gas to heat your home.
Compare year-over-year to determine whether anything unusual is going on with your monthly utilities. If you notice a drastic increase from last year to this year, you could have a problem with your HVAC system. Poor efficiency, damaged components, and clogged ducts can all lead to higher bills. It’s also smart to schedule a maintenance tuneup every spring and fall to make sure everything is working properly. Your HVAC technician will inspect and test the system to make sure it’s up for the heating and cooling needs of the upcoming seasons.
Research Your Area
In certain areas of the country, utility bills are nearly always higher than others. The cost spikes can relate to higher prices on gas and electricity, more challenges to install and maintain supply lines, or other factors that impact the ability to get gas and electricity to homes. Compare the costs in your neighborhood by calling the local utility company and requesting average bills for the area.
Not all utility companies will offer the information right away. However, you should be able to get more details if you emphasize that you don’t want the bills for each individual neighbor, but rather an average for a specific zip code or region. If your bills are higher than those of your neighbors, this could relate to some differences in usage, but drastic differences are worth investigating further. Your system might not be very efficient, or you could have a problem that’s wasting a lot of energy.
Perform a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit is another good way to find out what’s going on within your house. When done by a professional HVAC technician, this type of audit provides quite a bit of detail about your home’s energy usage. Your auditor will go through each room to look for any potential leaks and areas of loss, as well as compare past utility bills to determine what might be causing the spikes.
Before your audit takes place, make a list of any problems that relate to your home’s comfort, such as high humidity levels, hot and cold zones, or drafty rooms. This information can help establish what should be looked at more closely during the process. The auditor will look for leaks, problems with the heating or cooling system, unsealed areas, and potential energy losses to help determine where to make changes in your home.
Look for Ways to Trim
You can also look for ways to trim your bills by making some simple changes around your house. Leaving lights on or running the heating or cooling system inefficiently can waste quite a bit of energy, which adds up in monthly costs. Perform a nightly sweep of your home to make sure everything is turned off before you head to bed. Make sure to program your thermostat as well, based on your schedule and times that you’re typically away from home.
If your bills are still rising, contact us at Freyaldenhoven Heating and Cooling at (501) 764-9077 to schedule a maintenance visit or other heating or cooling service.
Image provided by Shutterstock
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