Maryland gets some balanced seasons, though our winters may not be as severe as some of the more northern states. Still, things can get cool here in the winter, and very hot and humid in the summer, which can be bad for critical, work-related hardware like computers.

It means we need some constant climate control throughout the year, but just because you rely on your HVAC system, all year, doesn’t mean there aren’t a few ways that you can save some dollars.

Keep Your Air Ducts in Good Condition

The air duct serves two purposes; when it is winter, it carries warm air from a furnace into the individual rooms of a home. When it is summer, it takes the air chilled from an air conditioner, and does the same thing. This is far more efficient than having two different distribution systems just to carry air of different temperatures.

But air ducts are still pipes, and pipes can still break. Given enough time, or just neglect and accidents, ducts can be bent, broken or suffer from other structural defects. A leaky duct means your HVAC systems are working harder than necessary, which translates to higher bills.

Have an HVAC professional conduct a check-up. Cleaning ducts and sealing leaks will restore your efficiency, as well as eliminate problems while they are still small, and less expensive to deal with.

Replace Your Old Thermostat

While it’s true that there may not be much need to replace something if it still works, there are exceptions to this rule. When something works better than what you’ve already got, and what you’ve got is costing you money, it can smart to upgrade.

New thermostats fulfill this requirement, especially when compared to thermostats so old they don’t even have digital controls. Not only are these older thermostats less precise about temperature measurement, they are far less efficient.

New thermostats can be programmed to automatically change the temperature based on the time of day or the year, going into low power mode for the furnace, for example, when people are warm in bed, and don’t need the heat to be up so high. The latest “smart” thermostats can even analyze your living habits, and then automatically adjust temperatures based on your daily activity. You can even access the controls using your phone.

Use Your Curtains Effectively

Curtains, drapes or blinds are not just there to complement your room. They can even do more than just provide you with privacy at night when you don’t want people peeking into your lit rooms. They can also help you save money on cooling your home.

Windows don’t just admit light, they also admit heat. That means that hot summer air is being made hotter still by heat coming from your windows. You can help your AC out in this regard by using your curtains, drapes or blinds during peak hours of the afternoon to blunt the heat and reduce your HVAC workload.

By being a bit more mindful about how your heating and cooling is being used, you can make your life in Dundalk, MD comfortable, without letting your monthly energy bills run away from you. It’s all about being more efficient with what you’ve got.