What Can I Do to Lower My Energy Bills in Ridgedale and the Branson area? 03/04/2016What Can I Do to Lower My Energy Bills in Ridgedale and the Branson area? If you’re wanting to save money, a great place to begin is right inside your home. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home typically makes up about 48% of your utility bill. Some of the best ways to start saving money don’t require a large investment of money or time. If you haven’t set up your furnace service for the year, that’s a great place to start. We also have a couple additional tips that can help keep your costs as low as possible. Schedule an Energy Audit If you reach out to your local utility provider, they will come conduct an energy audit of your home. These services are usually provided free-of-charge and account for everything that is showing up on your energy bill, from your heating and cooling system to your kitchen and laundry appliances. Many utility companies also have rebates for insulation and other equipment that can improve your home’s efficiency. Smartly Program Your Programmable Thermostat Thermostats have come a long way, and the technology behind them only continues to change. For example, the iComfort S30 is able to use the GPS In your smartphone to detect when you’re leaving and makes the proper adjustment to help you save money and increase efficiency while you’re away. When you return home, everything goes to the way it was and you don’t have to worry about anything. It’s also able to learn your routine, so when baseball and football seasons roll around, your thermostat can make the proper adjustment. The Department of Energy notes that a well programmed thermostat could decrease your heating costs by up to 35% and your cooling costs by up to 25%. Set your thermostat as low as you can, while remaining comfortable in the winter and as high as comfortable in the summer. There are a number of different models to choose from so pick the one that best adapts to your schedule and needs. If your schedule changes a lot, a 7-day model is likely your best bet. They offer you the flexibility to set different programs for each day. These typically have four possible temperature stages per day. There are also 5+2 and 5-1-1 models. These models are best if you have the same schedule on weekdays and a different one for weekends. Selecting and Maintaining Your System If you think you’re nearing the point where your system ought to be replaced, it’s a good idea to view all of your options so you can make an informed decision when the time comes. Check out the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating of air conditioners and the AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of the furnaces. The higher the ratings, the greater the savings. As always, our furnace and A/C experts will help you make a well-informed decision that suits you and your needs. If you’re not there yet, a simple furnace service and routine maintenance can keep your system running smoothly and efficiently. If you haven’t set up your furnace service for the year or are having any sort of questions about your system or possibilities, schedule an appointment with us online or give us a call at 417-544-4430.