According to the United States Department of Energy, up to half of the energy used inside the home is devoted to heating and cooling. That’s why taking steps to increase energy efficiency in your HVAC system is critical to lowering your total energy costs. Thankfully, a few bits of regular and preventative maintenance may help you do this, and some other simple steps also contribute real measurable benefits.
Change Your Air Filters on a Regular Basis
Air filters should be checked regularly. And during months of heavy usage, primarily in the summer and winter, they should be inspected monthly. They should be changed at least every three months to maintain efficient operation and to avoid your units working harder than needed. Also, this should be done to prevent maintenance issues, as blogged and dirty filters don’t work well in inhibiting dust and other type of buildup inside the systems.
Schedule Seasonal Maintenance
By now, you should already know a trusted HVAC company you can call for both preventative maintenance and for repair of problems. If you’re the person who originally had the HVAC system installed in your residence, it’s a good idea to maintain a relationship with the company who originally put in the system. But if not, you need to find some skilled, professional technicians. You’ll need to schedule seasonal checkups — one shortly before warm weather arrives, and one in the fall, before the winter season — because there’s a set of maintenance tasks that must be done at each seasonal inspection.
Replace Older HVAC Units
Angie’s List recommends replacing older heating and cooling units, swapping out for newer, more eco-friendly models. The United States Department of Energy backs up this recommendation, suggesting that units that are greater than 10 years old be changed out. If you do, be sure to select equipment that is qualified under the ENERGY STAR program. The Department of Energy states that this can decrease your energy bill by up to $115 dollars annually.
Install a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat can go a long way in reducing your heating and cooling costs. Even a minor adjustment of just a few degrees warmer in the summer, or cooler in the winter, can shave a bit of money off your energy bills. That’s because your HVAC assemblies don’t have to work as hard. Since you can’t babysit your thermostat, the next best option is to install a programmable feature so it makes the necessary corrections while you’re at work or otherwise away from home. Some more sophisticated models can set temperatures even for different rooms in your home.
Naturally, you’re interested in ways of boosting energy efficiency in your home. While you’re tried to maximize it in various ways, such as installing better doors and windows and eco-friendly insulation, the upkeep and tuning of your HVAC units are a critical way to not only decrease your usage and costs. Staying on top of regular seasonal maintenance, replacing an older system and using a programmable thermostat are three big steps you can take in your efforts to save both energy and money.