Energy-Inefficient Bad Habits That Increase Your Utility Bills

April 3, 2023
Two men next to HVAC unit

Key Takeaways:

  • Small and negligible actions, like leaving windows and doors open while the AC is running, can greatly impact your utility bill.
  • When air vents are closed in unused rooms, it throws off balance and can increase energy usage.
  • Dirty air filters and clogged drains can cause your HVAC system to work harder, leading to higher energy bills.
  • Turning off the appliances and leaving your windows open can help you cut off on extra energy expenditures.

Habits that don’t look like they matter much can bring up your utility bills in a big way. When these bad habits accumulate to form energy inefficiency, not only do you end up paying more on your bills, but you’re also contributing to the global energy crisis. Sounds a bit too real? Trust us, we know – because fixing these habits can save you some major dough.

Carney & Son 72 Degrees are pioneers in energy-efficient HVAC. We want to share tips on breaking these habits and saving your wallet and the planet.

1. Leaving your AC or heating

On days when you rush out the door, it’s easy to forget to turn off your AC or heating. But leaving these running while you’re not even home is just a waste of energy (and money!). Get into the habit of turning off your AC or heating before leaving the house. And if you’re forgetful, invest in a programmable thermostat to automate the process.

2. Cranking up the AC or heating

We get it – those hot summer days or freezing winter nights call for maximum AC or heating. But before reaching for the highest setting, try using a fan or layering your clothing first. These minor adjustments can make a remarkable difference in energy usage (and your utility bill!).

To our clients, we suggest investing in energy-efficient HVAC systems. They obviously cost more upfront, but the long-term savings and decrease in energy usage will not leave you regretful.

3. Closing air vents

Ventilation is the crux of a functioning HVAC system. When air vents are closed in unused rooms, it throws off balance and can increase energy usage. In an attempt to get comfortable, you may be unknowingly driving up your energy bill. The air pressure may build up in the air ducts and be forced to work harder, leading to a spike in energy usage. An energy-efficient HVAC system will not experience this issue as severely. You can avoid it altogether by keeping all air vents open.

4. Not changing the air filter

We all are guilty of letting this one slide. Still, a clogged or dirty air filter can increase energy usage and decrease the efficiency of your HVAC system. When dirt and dust accumulate on the tiny fibers of the air filter, it restricts airflow and forces the system to work harder. The more power your system requires to cool or heat your home, the higher your energy bill.

5. Leaving windows open

No matter how much you’re tempted to leave your windows open, you must be aware of your schedule and how long the windows will be available. Especially during hot or cold months, it can throw off the temperature balance in your home and force the HVAC to work harder to regulate the temperature.

You can keep your curtains closed for summer afternoons to block out the sun’s rays. In the winter, consider investing in insulated curtains.

6. Using space heaters

Nothing can be more energy inefficient than using a space heater to heat one room in your house. It uses excess energy and can also be a fire hazard if left on for far too long. The most probable and energy-efficient solution is to invest in a programmable thermostat and adequately insulate your home. Or you could simply use a cozy blanket and some hot cocoa to keep warm.

7. Constant appliance usage

Leaving appliances on standby mode may seem innocent enough. Still, it can contribute to a large chunk of your energy bill. Such seemingly small things as leaving the TV on all day or not fully loading the dishwasher before running it can add up. Get in the habit of turning off and unplugging appliances when not in use. Where you can replace your existing devices with energy-efficient alternatives, we suggest you put reminders instead of splurging all that money.

8. Not properly maintaining HVAC and appliances

Proper maintenance can work wonders for any machine, be it your car or HVAC system. Neglecting regular maintenance check-ups can result in the machine using more energy and ultimately costing you more money. Ask yourself when was the last time you had your HVAC system cleaned—been a while? Better schedule that appointment now.

9. Forgetting to use fans

Do you automatically turn on the AC when your home starts feeling stuffy? Fans are a great alternative as they use significantly less energy.

Contrary to the popular belief that fans are only helpful in summer, you can also use them for ventilation during colder months, as long as you’re not dealing with freezing cold. An additional perk of fans is that they can also help circulate warm air during the winter if you have a heat source in the room.

10. Older appliances

The older your appliances get, the more energy inefficient they become. Consider upgrading to newer, energy-efficient appliances. Not only will they save some bucks on your utility bills, but they’ll also be better for the environment. While this tip may not relate to your HVAC system, it’s important to remember that all home appliances can contribute to energy efficiency (or lack thereof).

Ending Note:

So, break your bad energy-wasting habits today and start saving money on your utility bills. It’s easier than you think and can be much more fun, too – just ask our team about how we can help get you started! With winter just around the corner, there’s no better time to switch to being more energy-efficient. Conserving natural resources is vital for both the environment and your bank account – so let’s all do our part and work towards making 2022 the year of sustainable living.

Get Your Energy-Efficient HVAC in Kiawah Island, SC

Carney & Son 72 Degrees, serving Kiawah Island, SC, is a family-owned business that brings together the expertise of three generations. We specialize in energy-efficient HVAC systems and can help you switch to a more sustainable way of living. We also repair, service, or install any heating and cooling system.

Schedule your service online.

Carney & Son Air Conditioning and Heating

Carney & Son, 72 Degrees

We are a family Owned & Operated HVAC Services in Charleston, SC, proudly serving the Charleston community for 39 years.

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