If you are scratching your head wondering why the energy bill is high, even though you try to reduce heating and cooling costs, it may be a simple matter of not seeing the forest for the trees. Even in tightly-built homes, there are typically many ways saving money and energy are possible. Here’s the big picture.

5 Ways Texas Homeowners Get in the Way of Saving Money and EnergyOutdated HVAC System

The heating and cooling systems account for about half of the energy budget in the average home. If you’re still running a very old furnace or heat pump, you could be saving 20 percent or more on a new model with advanced features. You’ll get a big boost in comfort and return on investment.

Insufficient Insulation

Check the attic insulation. Are there any damaged, damp or moldy sections? Replace such insulation right away. Do you have at least 12 inches of insulation (for fiberglass, rock wool or cellulose)? The suggested R-value in is R-38. Seal the attic hatch with weatherstripping or an attic door cover.

Outdated Lighting

Lighting accounts for about 10 percent of the energy budget. If you’re still using incandescent lighting, you can reduce lighting costs by up to 80 percent by switching LEDs. You’ll get better quality lighting that lasts up to 25 times longer.

Lack of HVAC Maintenance

HVAC maintenance should be performed annually for heating and cooling systems. Sophisticated HVAC systems require free airflow across all components. Any seemingly insignificant grime or dirt reduces cooling and heating performance, and bumps up the energy bill. Refrigerant, the electrical system and ductwork need regular inspections, too, in order to maintain peak efficiency and comfort.

Water Heating

Many people don’t realize how much water heating systems can save (or cost). Check the thermostat on the water heater. If it is above 120 degrees, turn it back. Make sure you drain about 1 gallon of water from the drain bib every-other month to help flush the tank of minerals and sediment deposits.

Saving money and energy is simple when you look at each system in the whole. For more tips, contact Bradbury Brothers Heating & Air Conditioning.

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