A new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) states that homes heated by oil may see a 20% increase in their monthly bill. Homes heated by electricity will see a slightly smaller increase, while homes heated by natural gas will actually see a decrease.
The EIA blames crude oil prices for the increase and projects an increase of about $70 on average. The winter season, according to EIA, spans from October through March. The EIA says there should be enough supply available to meet demand.
With prices expected to increase, it’s important to take steps to cut back on your usage. Here’s how:
If your budget allows, invest in ENERGY STAR labeled equipment. These units must meet strict energy efficiency standards set by the EPA. Optimal performance means that the equipment is 15% more efficient than conventional systems.
The U.S. Department of Energy says these systems can save between $3 and $4 per square foot in energy costs. Depending on the equipment, you may be eligible for a rebate from your utility company.
How old is your HVAC System? If it’s more than 10 years old, it may be time to upgrade your system. “Older boilers tend to need maintenance and repairs often before the colder winter months” explains explains Courtesy Plumbing & Heating. The EPA says every dollar you invest in energy efficiency can produce double or triple your return on investment.
Upgrading to a new, efficient system can pay for itself in a relatively short period of time.
To determine the efficiency of the cooling equipment, check the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) before making your purchase. The most efficient systems have ratings between 14 and 18. A system with a SEER rating of 16 will cost half as much to operate as a unit rated 8.
If it’s in your budget and your system is aging, an upgrade will prevent an even costlier issue in the long-run.
Installing a smart thermostat will help keep your costs down. These thermostats are able to connect to Wi-Fi and allow you to adjust the temperature wherever you are in the world right from your smartphone.
Smart thermostats also allow you to program temperatures for certain times of the day. So, you can adjust your system up or down when no one is at home.
A simple way to lower your energy costs is to ensure that you are not blocking the air flow in your home. When installing carpet or arranging your furniture, keep vents clear and clean.
Vents should be properly dusted and cleaned to prevent further air flow blockage.
If it’s not in your budget to upgrade your existing HVAC system, make sure that you’re maintaining it to keep it running properly. Dirty vents, clogged air filters and condensers with built-up grime will cause the system to work inefficiently and may cause premature repairs.
Proper system maintenance will help extend the life of your HVAC system and keep your costs down. The more efficient the system, the lower the cost to operate.
Publish Date : 17 Ekim 2018 Çarşamba 11:56
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