Fall is here and with it comes cooler temperatures. If you’ve installed a solar panel system on your home from Shine, you can look forward to a near zero electric bill. But, what about your gas bill?
If you didn’t take advantage of Shine’s energy efficiency or HVAC services, you might find yourself paying more than you should to heat your home. Not to mention feeling uncomfortable when temperatures drop below 30°F. However, there are a few things you can do to keep that bill in check and feel more comfortable until spring arrives.
Install A Programmable Thermostat
One of the biggest impacts you can have on your gas bill is to install a programmable thermostat. According to the Department of Energy, the average homeowner can save as much as 10% per year on heating and cooling by adjusting your thermostat up or down by 7°–10°F for eight hours a day.
For many homeowners, this is easy to do because they work during the day. A programmable thermostat allows you to automatically adjust the temperature down during periods when you are away from home and then return to normal when you come back. Or, if you’re at home most of the time, you could adjust the temperature to go down during the late morning and afternoon when outside temperatures are typically higher.
What’s even better is that this works the same way during the summer. This will reduce your electric consumption and allow you to sell more energy back to your electric utility.
Installing a programmable thermostat is the easiest way to make a significant dent in your gas bill during colder weather. They cost an average of $50 and can be purchased from your local home improvement store.
Weatherize Your Home
Another way to save money on your gas bill and increase your comfort this winter is to weatherize your home. The biggest energy loss in most homes comes from hidden air leaks in the building’s structure and inadequate insulation. Locating and sealing these leaks will go a long way in helping to save you money and make you more comfortable this winter.
The DOE recommends the following measures to better air seal your home:
· Weather strip doors and windows.
· Caulk and seal air leaks where plumbing, ducting, or electrical wiring comes through walls, floors, ceilings, and soffits over cabinets.
· Install foam gaskets behind outlet and switch plates on walls.
· Use foam sealant on larger gaps around window trims, baseboards, and other places where air may leak out.
· Check for open fireplace dampers and make sure they properly close when not in use.
Consider Upgrading Or Servicing Your HVAC System And Better Insulating Your Home
Unfortunately, most homes in the U.S. only have the minimum required heating and cooling system. This also holds true for insulation. So, while you’re not going to freeze to death, you’re probably paying more than you should to heat and cool your home, even if it’s brand new.
There are two things you can do to fix this problem. The first is have your gas furnace professionally inspected and serviced before it gets too cold. This will help it operate more efficiently and will ensure that no safety hazards have developed over time that could harm you and your family. This should be done on a yearly basis, especially if your HVAC system is older.
A better option would be to replace your HVAC system with a high efficiency furnace and air conditioner. These units provide the same level of comfort but do so using less energy which saves you money.
However, having a high-efficiency HVAC system will only take you so far if your home is under insulated and leaking air. Not to mention it is uncomfortable. That’s why Shine offers both services through its Shine Air subsidiary.
When you work with Shine Air to replace your old HVAC system, not only will you get a high-efficiency air conditioner and furnace, but we will also work to seal all the air leaks in your attic and install the necessary amount of insulation for you to feel more comfortable and save money. In addition, we will also install a programable thermostat to maximize your energy savings. Both services are part of the same package deal and provide the long-lasting comfort and savings you deserve.
For more information, call us at (479) 527-0404 and we will arrange a time to work with you. For more information on how to become energy efficient around your home, download Shine Solar’s free Energy Guide.
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