People ask me all the time about ways to bring down their utility bills, especially in the summer. Of course, the number one thing you can do is to install a modern, energy efficient air conditioning system. (preferably a “dual stage” system, and here’s why.)

However, if your HVAC system is in good working order there are plenty of things you can do to boost your home’s efficiency, many of which take little effort or money.

As the peak heat of summer begins setting in, here are three sneaky ways your house and your HVAC system are driving up your energy costs and draining your wallet.

1) Get All your Ducts in a Row

While you might think that gaps around windows and doors are a leading way to lose energy efficiency, they are not the main culprit for why your utility costs are so high.

Did you know the Department of Energy estimates that your house is losing an average of up to 30% of its conditioned air due to leaky ductwork? You’re spending a lot of money to cool that air, and almost a third of it is quietly leaking right into your attic or crawlspace before it ever makes it to your vents!

Lots of heating and air companies in Gwinnett advertise “duct cleaning” services, but duct sealing is where you’re going to get the best bang for your buck and bring down that power bill.

Think about it: how did the ducts get dirty to begin with? If you seal them properly, you should never have to worry about duct cleaning again.

2) Breathe In, Breathe Out

Imagine going for a jog in the summer time, but holding a cloth against your mouth while you were exercising. You wouldn’t perform at your peak for very long, would you?

When your HVAC filter is filthy and clogged, that’s similar to what your air conditioner is experiencing. Because your system depends on proper air flow, regularly changing your filter is not only important but only costs a few bucks. In fact, we recommend the cheaper air filters which allow for maximum air flow while filtering hair and dust.

But since your house isn’t going to send you a handy reminder, how can you remember this simple task? If you have a wall calendar in your home, go ahead and add a reminder on the first of every month right now. Or add it to your online calendar and set it to give you an alert when it’s time to replace your filter.

While your filter may fall in the “out of sight, out of mind” category, it’s a critical piece of keeping your air flow up and your power bill down.

3) Take a Bite out of Vampire Power

Walk around your house and see how many appliances and electronics are plugged in but not being used. Did you know that these devices are quietly drawing “vampire power” even if they’re in Standby or Off mode?

In fact, according to the EPA, idle gadgets suck up to $10 billion in energy every year!

Examples of power-draining electronics:

  • Printers
  • Computers
  • Stereos
  • Televisions
  • Cable Boxes
  • Coffee Makers
  • Exercise Equipment
  • Electric Toothbrush Chargers
  • Electric Razor Chargers
  • Fax Machines
  • Tool Chargers
  • Monitors
  • Scanners
  • DVD Players

What can you do about it?

For some charging devices like laptops, razors, clippers and toothbrushes, they can be easily unplugged once the device is fully charged.

Check your computer’s “hibernate” and power usage settings to minimize any power being drawn if plugged in.

How often do you actually use your laser or inkjet printer? If it’s only once or twice per month, simply plug in the printer when you need it.

It’s unrealistic to think you’re going to unplug some types of devices after ever use, but many of them can go onto power strips with true Off switches.

What about televisions, cable boxes or other rarely used devices plugged into outlets in your guest rooms? Simply unplug them until the day before guests arrive.

Ready to Start Saving?

Embrace these energy efficiency tips and you’ll help your wallet pack more of a wallop!

If you’d like an estimate on duct sealing or to give your air conditioner a tune-up before the true dog days of summer set in, call 770-271-7511 or send us a request. My crew of heating and air conditioning experts are ready to help you and your family achieve peak comfort!

– Matthew

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