Keeping your energy bills as low as possible as temperatures fluctuate

Updated: Dec. 14, 2016 at 7:32 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - With this roller coaster of temperatures will be seeing in the coming days, your energy bills could be taking a big hit.

If you take a look at the daily temperatures on our First Alert Weather App, you can see the dramatic changes from day to day.

A high of 77 on Friday, 54 on Saturday and then 28 degrees as a high on Sunday.

So how can you keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank?

We spoke with a local heating and air conditioning company to find out some tips to keep your costs low.

Brad Merchant with Bruce Thornton Air Conditioning talked to us about what he believes are the best practices to keep your home energy efficient.

He says, first of all, don't shut your thermostat off when you leave your house.

"You don't want to cut it all the way off because that's when your unit has to work extra hard to catch back up," Merchant said. "Just drop it down four or five degrees like you normally would when you leave the house. When you get back, just go ahead and raise it back up like you would."

He says even dropping your thermostat down one degree can save money on your winter bills.

"For instance, if you keep your house normally at 72, if you drop it down just to 71, it still might be comfortable. But that could save you five percent over the winter energy cost," Merchant said.

If you have a fireplace, keep this in mind.

"When your fireplace is not in use, make sure that your flue is shut to prevent the hot air from escaping through your chimney."

He says it's important to make sure your filters have been recently changed.

"You definitely want to change it not just only in the summer, that's what a lot of people think. It's also in the winter," Merchant said. "Once it gets dirty, the cool will get clogged up, and it will affect your heater and your air conditioner."

And in the next coming days, if you can't seem to find a comfortable indoor temperature, Brad says to make sure all of your doors and windows are sealed tight because that makes a big difference.

"It's kind of like an envelope. If the envelope is open it is going to be sharing the air inside and out. If it's sealed, you're going to be just heating or cooling that inside that envelope," Merchant said.

Brad says if you find your doors or windows aren't sealed tight enough, things you might have around your house such as duct tape or towels can work until you are able to get a professional to come and help out.

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