What Can I Do to Lower My Energy Bills in Columbia? 03/04/2016What Can I Do to Lower My Energy Bills in Columbia? If you’re wanting to save money, a great place to begin is right inside your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home normally accounts for about 48% of your utility bill. Some of the best ways to start saving money don’t require a large investment of money or time. If you haven’t set up your furnace service for the year, that’s an ideal place to start. We also have a couple additional tips that can help keep your expenses as low as possible. Schedule an Energy Audit If you contact your local utility provider, they will come conduct an energy audit of your home. These services are often provided free-of-charge and include everything that is popping up on your utility bill, from your heating and cooling system to your kitchen and laundry appliances. Most utility companies also offer rebates for insulation and other items that can increase your home’s efficiency. Smartly Program Your Programmable Thermostat Thermostats have been improved a lot, and the technology behind them only continues to evolve. For example, the iComfort S30 is able to utilize the GPS In your smartphone to figure out when you’re leaving and makes the proper alteration to help you save money and improve efficiency while you’re gone. When you return home, everything goes back to normal and you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s also able to adapt to your routine, so when baseball and football seasons start again, your thermostat can make the right adjustment. The Department of Energy states that a well programmed thermostat could lower your heating costs by up to 35% and your cooling costs by up to 25%. Set your thermostat as low as you can, while ensuring you’re comfortable in the winter and as high as comfortable in the summer. There are a number of different models to decide from so pick the one that best fits your schedule and needs. If your schedule changes quite a bit, a 7-day model is likely your best choice. They provide you the flexibility to set different programs for each day. These normally have four possible temperature stages per day. There are also 5+2 and 5-1-1 models. These models are perfect if you have the same schedule on weekdays and a separate one for weekends. Selecting and Maintaining Your System If you think you’re nearing the point where your system will need to be replaced, it’s a good idea to take a look at all of your options so you can make an informed decision when the time comes. View the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of air conditioners and the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of the furnaces. The higher the ratings, the greater the savings. As always, our furnace and A/C experts will help you make a well-informed decision that adapts to you and your needs. If you’re not there yet, a simple furnace service and routine maintenance can keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. If you haven’t arranged your furnace service for the year or are having any sort of questions about your system or options, arrange an appointment with us online or give us a call at 803-318-6995.