Every homeowner knows the hassle of dealing with pesky monthly bills, especially as they fluctuate in price throughout the year. Some expenses remain low during the summer, then spike up in the winter, and vice versa for others. Understanding how weather affects your monthly utility bills, directly and indirectly, allows you to save money and stay comfortable inside your home.
65 Degrees Is the Golden Zone
65 degrees Fahrenheit is “room temperature,” and it’s the perfect condition for your electricity, water, and gas utilities. This is because this temperature puts the least stress on things like HVAC systems, water heaters, and gas appliances.
For starters, anything severely over or under room temperature causes HVAC systems to work more, compensating for the extreme weather conditions outside. During cold months, your air ducts pump out more heat, and during the summer, they rush to provide cool air. To counteract this problem, invest in alternate methods of cooling and heating. Space heaters or large fans can help reduce your dependency on the HVAC system.
Dryness and Dust Hinders HVAC Systems
HVAC systems unsurprisingly cost the most each month, no matter the season. This is because air vents, ducts, and filters are the most directly affected utility items within your home. Dry weather mixed with dust and other unwanted materials quickly plugs up filters, causing HVAC setups to work harder.
In fact, a dirty filter strains your ventilation system while also seriously hampering its ability to function. This is a classic lose-lose situation. Replace your filters every three months to ensure you’re ready for dry conditions. Additionally, do a routine air duct and vent inspection. Carrying it out will further fortify your HVAC device against inclement weather.
Winter and Summer Are the Worst
Well, these seasons themselves are actually quite lovely, just not for our bank accounts. Utility bills suffer the most among the many expenses that come from extreme heat and cold. The direct effects include overcompensation, reduced efficiency, and system failures. These issues usually require expert help, adding another annoying expense to your quickly growing bill. The remedy here is proper maintenance of your appliances. This will help solve minor problems before they become major.
Weather also indirectly affects monthly bills, as its changes cause us to shift our living habits. For instance, the darkness of winter means we run our lights for more extended periods, eating up more electricity. Cooking moves from the outside grill to the kitchen, so our use of gas can increase. Additionally, we run our A/C and water appliances more aggressively during the summer. The best fix for these indirect problems is adapting our lifestyles as the seasons change. This way, we can mitigate the energy increases that we might tend to create.
Ultimately, understanding how weather affects your monthly utility bills is only the first step in saving more money each billing cycle. In truth, specific changes in behavior are necessary to ensure we compensate for alternating weather patterns. Keep an eye on which bills rise to ensure you’re one step ahead of the game.