LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo — It is no secret the price of everything has gone up and that includes electricity and natural gas.
To put things into perspective, according to a November report from the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, the average cost to heat a home in America is projected to jump 17.2% compared to last year.
“During the greatest demand time is when your system has to work the hardest,” said Andrew Van Wyk, operations manager with Sharp-Long 72 Degrees Air Conditioning.
Van Wyk also says the price of HVAC equipment has increased as well.
A new governmental rating system was put in place the first of this year, and now customers have to pay more for new equipment to keep up with the rising costs.
“Now that that requirement has actually been raised, some of that kind of entry-level equipment that most contractors use is no longer allowed to be installed,” Van Wyk said.
In order to keep bills at bay and become more efficient with energy, Van Wyk suggests going down a checklist:
- Check your filters. They should ideally be changed every 30 days.
- Have adequate insulation. Check places like the attic where air can seep in.
- Keep your home dust-free as much as possible.
- Make sure nothing is blocking your vents. Remove anything within 12 to 16 inches around them.
Van Wyk says customers often turn the thermostat way down before leaving the house to save money, but this may actually more harmful than beneficial.
The system will have to work twice as hard to catch back up, so he advises setting the thermostat at a consistent temperature somewhere between 69 and 72 degrees.