Arizona is generally very cool in the fall, which we are seeing beginning signs of now. This weather can easily lead to increased utility costs around this time. Luckily for Valley-Metro residents there are a few tips that can be used to keep warm and keep costs down at the same time.
1 – Keep your Furnace system clean.
If you’re furnace gets dirty it has to work much harder and may work less efficiently while doing so. This leads to higher utility costs because your unit will be using more energy than it should under optimal conditions. The main component to keep an eye on is the dirt build up your blower blades. Build up on the blades of your furnace can decrease efficiency by up to 30%.
When done correctly, the technician performing this service will actually remove the parts surrounding the blower motor before beginning to clean the blades. Cooper Climate Control HVAC professionals are trained to thoroughly inspect, and clean this crucial metal ensuring your heater runs at peak efficiency.
2 – Keep things sealed up tight
Any home in Valley-Metro can fall prey to leaks and drafts, though it is more common in mobile and modular homes. Because of Arizona’s climate, a home that is well-insulated could save up to 10% or more over their usual heating costs in the fall. If you think things are sealed tight with no leaks or drafts but still aren’t getting the results you want, consider having a local HVAC professional perform a simple duct pressure test. The results of this test will tell you if there are any leaks in your duct system which could be increasing your heating costs driving your utility bills up.
3 – Make sure your thermostat is at the right temperature for Arizona
Sacramento sometimes has inconsistent temperature averages thorough the fall, so it is important to make sure that you are using day-time settings that are appropriate for our area. You may already know, a range between 69° and 72° is best; for every two degrees you set your thermostat above 76° you could be increasing your heating costs by as much as 15%! Your long-term costs can also increase because a unit that sees more use will inevitably wear out sooner. So rain, wind or chill, be sure to set your thermostat at a consistent level before you leave the house in the morning.
4 – Check your home’s insulation
Believe it or not, the insulation in your walls and in your attic can have a big impact on your heating costs this winter. Your home absorbs a lot of cool energy throughout the day and if your attic (and the rest of your home as well) is not properly insulated it can drive up your furnace costs big time. It is important to make sure that the vents in your attic are also clear and air can flow as needed; the air in attics in Arizona can become surprisingly cold and your furnace has to work extra hard to heat the whole house.
5 – Give your Furnace a break, use the old fireplace.
The Valley-Metro area can get fairly warm during our rainy season. If you are able to do so, set your thermostat for a much lower temperature and use your fireplace to heat your home. This will allow your home to insulate itself and trap that warmth. In the morning you can set your thermostat back to normal and give your heater a bit of a break this season.
Heating costs at the peak of winter in Arizona don’t have to be astronomical! You can use these 5 tips to help keep your home warm and still keep your overall energy costs down this winter.