This is a guest blog from Michelle West, Senior Content Editor of Precision Air & Heating.
In Arizona, people tend to think about their energy bills more frequently during the Summer. But you may be surprised to learn that heating an Arizona home during the colder months can account for as much as half of your electricity bill.
During the holidays, most of us clocked a fair amount of indoor family time, giving our heating systems a thorough spin. If you already have solar on your home, you’re set, no worries. But if your next energy bill is unexpectedly high, it's possible that you’re committing some common heating mistakes. Here are a few avoidable pitfalls that can help you keep your winter energy bills in check.
1. Not using a programmable thermostat: For all the benefits that a programmable thermostat brings, many people still won’t warm up to the idea of buying one. A programmable thermostat can keep the temperature inside your home consistent. It can also maximize zoned heating. If you invest in this cost-effective device, you will be able to create a schedule that will keep your home warm while you’re there, but go easy on energy usage when you’re away.
2. Poor insulation: You pay good money for warm air during winter, but much of that warm air escapes from your home through your roof, floor, windows, walls, and doors because of poor insulation. You better work to improve insulation on the parts of your house that need it, or you will just be letting all that heat you paid for go to waste.
3. Not changing filters: Dirty filters result in poor airflow, which forces your heating system to work harder to keep everyone warm. Naturally, all that extra work means it has to consume more energy, which is then promptly reflected in your utility bill. That is why HVAC unit filters must be replaced every three months. It saves you money and extends the life of your unit as well.
4. Not dressing warmly indoors: When temperatures drop, you typically depend on your heating system to keep you warm. When it’s not warm enough, you crank up the thermostat. However, if you wear regular clothes the entire time, you can expect to be fiddling with the thermostat more because it will always seem cold to you. You can get warmer without setting the thermostat high. Just dress in layers, wear turtleneck shirts or sweaters, scarves, and hats, and you can stay warm indoors without the extra energy consumption.
5. Not letting the sunshine in: If you’re in the habit of keeping your curtains or drapes closed for the entire day, you’re missing out on the chance of getting free solar heating inside your home. Let the sunshine in so your heating system won’t have to work so hard to keep you and your family warm. Your energy bill will drop too when your heater does less work. Fortunately, you can easily rectify all of the home heating mistakes listed above. You just need to tweaks your HVAC practices a bit.
6. Not going solar: Every Arizona resident has the unique opportunity to turn our most abundant natural resource into free, clean energy. Depending on budget and goals, a properly designed rooftop solar array can dramatically reduce, or even wipe away your monthly electricity bill.
If you're interested in learning more about solar, and how you can put Arizona’s most abundant natural resource to work for you, we invite you to download our free solar whitepaper. You can also contact one of our solar experts for a custom solar quote.
About the Author:
Michelle West is the Senior Content Editor of Precision Air and Heating, a local AC repair company in sunny Arizona. Michelle enjoys writing about topics that help people all over the country make their homes more efficient and environmentally-friendly.