In Canada, the average cost of utilities is $325 per month. Whether you’re paying more or less than this, you might be feeling the financial hit every time you pay your bills.
But chances are, there are small lifestyle changes you can make to decrease these pesky bills. And these adjustments can be so minor, you won’t even notice them, so it’s a win-win situation!
Are you interested in learning how to lower your heating and AC bill? Then read on for 9 tips and tricks you should try!
1. Get a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats provide much more advanced – and automated – control over your home’s heating & cooling systems. With sophisticated software that allows you to schedule when your HVAC system is on, and what the indoor temperature is set to throughout the day and night, you can reduce waste and save a substantial amount of energy and money.
Many modern smart thermostats are also able to learn and adapt to your preferences automatically and even detect when you’re home, when you’re at work, or sleeping. For an average price of a couple hundred dollars, they’re a worthwhile investment that will pay for itself fairly quickly.
2. Lower Your Thermostat at Night During the Winter
Having your home nice and toasty during the winter can make things feel a lot nicer. But realistically, there’s no need to keep such high temperatures when you’re curling up under a thick blanket while you sleep.
Considering that the average Canadian spends 7 to 9 hours a night sleeping, that’s around a third of a day! As you can see, lowering your thermostat by a few degrees for those hours can make a huge dent in your heating bill.
3. Raise Your Thermostat During the Day in the Summertime
In the same vein, you may not need to keep your home quite as cool during the day in the summertime. It tends to be hotter out during the day so your A/C will already be working harder to maintain whatever temperature you set. But you may be able to get by with slightly warmer temperatures especially if you’re in and out of the house or spending time outside.
Most people benefit the most from having cool and comfortable temperatures at night when trying to sleep. But during the daytime, raising the thermostat setting even a few degrees while supplementing with a fan can make you just as comfortable while also saving electricity.
Furthermore, because your air conditioner removes excess humidity from the air, this can make your home feel more comfortable even if the temperature setting is only set to 22 or 23 degrees Celsius (71 – 73 Fahrenheit) rather than say 21 degrees or lower.
4. Adjust Your Thermostat When You’re Not Home
Along those lines, you should also lower your thermostat by a few degrees in the winter when you’re not home, or raise it by a few degrees in the summertime especially when you’re gone for long periods. For example, if you’re out of the house 10 hours of the day due to work and your commute, that’s another third of your day where you can cut costs!
When you leave for vacation and business trips, it also helps to keep your home’s temperature low.
If you’re worried about it being too cold or hot when you come back, consider getting a smart thermostat, or at least a programmable one. This will allow you to raise the temperature just before you come home so you’re still comfortable!
5. Use Fans Instead of Air Conditioning
During hotter days, you might be tempted to use the AC instead of your fans. But when you receive your air conditioner bill, it’s quite a shock!
Try to leave your AC off and use fans instead. Placing a bowl of ice water in front of your fan can circulate cooler air and help you stay cool.
Save the AC for truly sweltering days to keep costs down.
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6. Open and Close Your Blinds/Drapes Strategically
The sun is an excellent source of renewable energy, so use it to your advantage.
In the winter, open your blinds and drapes fully to let the sunlight in. Not only can it help heat up your house, but it’ll also provide natural lighting, meaning you can keep your lights off for longer. This can help you save even more!
In the summer, keep them closed during the day to bounce the sun’s rays back outside. This can prevent your home’s temperature from rising too much.
7. Check and Change the Air Filter Often
Your HVAC unit needs clean air filters to operate correctly and efficiently. If they’re blocked, then the unit will work harder than it needs to.
Every month, you should take out the air filter and check it. If no light passes through it when you hold it up and look through it, then it’s past time for a new filter.
If you’ve had bad weather (such as a fire or high pollen count), then check more often, as the air filter will become clogged quicker.
8. Have Your HVAC System Serviced
Has it been a while since you’ve had your HVAC unit serviced? Then it’s high time you book a certified contractor to come inspect and service it.
You might think you’re saving money by skimping on maintenance. But that’s a common misconception. In reality, you’re paying more in the long run because your unit isn’t running efficiently and is working overtime.
Regular tuneups will catch any small problems before they grow to be more costly to fix. When your HVAC system is in tip-top shape, your heating and AC cost will decrease noticeably.
9. Replace Your HVAC System
If you’ve had your HVAC system for more than a decade, then it’s probably time to replace it with a new one. Not only can the repair costs pile up, but it’s not energy-efficient, even if it’s in working order.
You might not think you can fit a new appliance in your budget, but it’s worth it, we promise. It’ll pay for itself by savings on your utility bills!
Plus, with all the great HVAC deals around, a new unit won’t be as financially crippling as you originally thought.
10. Seal Your Windows and Doors
You might have a well-maintained HVAC unit that’s new. But even the most energy-efficient system is no match for a drafty house.
You might not realize it, but your windows and doors might not be sealed properly. As a result, all the hard work your HVAC unit does is wasted, as the hot or cold air isn’t retained well. So you should make sure doors are weatherstripped properly, and windows seal tightly when closed.
Go around your house and hold a candle to the perimeters of your room and around the edges of door and window frames. If it flickers, then you’ve got a draft. Find where the leak is and use either caulk or weather stripping to seal it up.
Lower Your Heating and AC Bill Today
With the above tips, you can say goodbye to receiving another expensive heating and AC bill. From using fans and lowering your thermostat to changing the air filter and getting regular maintenance, there are several ways you can keep more money in your pocket.
So starting today, put as many of these tips into play. Your bank account will thank you for it!
If you’d like a certified HVAC contractor to come inspect your unit, then request a quote now. We offer free and no-obligation estimates!