LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo — It’s no secret that the price of everything has gone up, including 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 expected to increase 17.2 percent over last year.
“During peak demand 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 also increased.
A new government rating system was introduced on the first of this year and customers are now having to pay more for new equipment to keep up with rising costs.
“Now that that requirement has actually been raised, some of that entry-level equipment used by most contractors can no longer be installed,” Van Wyk said.
To keep your bills in check and become more energy efficient, Van Wyk suggests following a checklist:
- Check your filters. Ideally they should be changed every 30 days.
- Have adequate insulation. Check places like the attic where air can get in.
- Keep your home as dust free as possible.
- Make sure nothing is blocking the vents. Remove anything within 12-16 inches around them.
Van Wyk says customers often turn down the thermostat before leaving the house to save money, but this can actually do more harm than good.
The system will have to work twice as hard to catch up, so she recommends setting the thermostat to a constant temperature between 69 and 72 degrees.