If you’re looking for ways to lower your energy bills and lessen your home’s impact on the environment, your HVAC system is a great place to start. Your HVAC system concerns the heat and air conditioning in your home, and some element of it is likely running at all times. It can use up a lot of energy, which can cost a lot of money when it comes time to pay your utility bills every month. You can’t very well shut off your heat or air conditioning when it’s too cold or hot outside, so you’ll have to find other ways to save energy with your HVAC system. Fortunately, this might be easier than you think. Here are just some HVAC tips that will help you save energy and money.
1. Replace Your HVAC Filters Regularly
Your filters remove dirt, dust, and other pollutants from your home’s air. As you can probably guess, they can get filthy very quickly and impede airflow in your ducts. They should be cleaned or replaced regularly, preferably once a month. Some reusable filters will only need to be cleaned, but you can also find cheap disposable filters at most hardware and department stores.
2. Maintain Your HVAC System
Regular maintenance can keep your heating and cooling system working efficiently. This is a task best left to a professional, so contact an HVAC contractor for a check-up at least once a year. The best times to schedule this maintenance appointment are during the spring before the main heating season or the early fall before you need to turn on your heat. That way, if there is something that needs to be fixed, you won’t be stuck with a non-functioning system during the hottest or coldest months of the year.
3. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat in your home, consider installing one. A programmable thermostat will set and adjust the temperature in your home automatically based on programmed settings. This means you can set it to a comfortable temperature during times when you’re home and lower temperatures when you’re away to save energy. You won’t have to make adjustments to the thermostat yourself until the season or your schedule changes.
As for the optimal temperature for your home, experts recommend setting your thermostat to 68 degrees when you’re home and lowering it when you’re away or asleep. Lowering your thermostat by seven to 10 degrees when you’re not home can lower your annual heating expenses by as much as 10%.
4. Replace Your Old HVAC System
Even though most heating and air conditioning systems can last for 15 to 20 years if they are properly maintained, they start to show their age after about 10 years. If your own HVAC system is that old and your utility bills have been higher than usual, it might be time to replace your system with something newer and more efficient. This may be expensive enough to give you a case of sticker shock, but you’ll actually be saving money that you would otherwise spend on utility bills and repairs.
5. Clear Away Obstructions
Your HVAC system will need to work a lot harder to heat or cool your home if your vents are blocked. Keep the spaces around the vents clear of clutter, and don’t place any furniture too close to any vents. If you have an outdoor air conditioning unit, clear out any foliage and debris that might be too close to it. Storms and strong winds can all but bury an outdoor AC unit with leaves and branches, so check it out if your home has been hit by severe weather recently.
If your vents seem to be unblocked and your AC unit is free of debris and your HVAC system still isn’t working efficiently, you can also schedule a duct cleaning. Clearing out the dust that has gathered in your ducts will not only help your HVAC system work more efficiently, but it will improve the air quality in your home.
6. Increase Your Home’s Insulation
You can improve the efficiency of your HVAC system by increasing your home’s insulation. Proper insulation traps warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer, making your home more comfortable throughout the year so you don’t have to rely as much on your furnace and air conditioner.
Home insulation can last for decades, but standards and codes have changed over the years. If you haven’t upgraded your insulation recently and you’ve noticed that your home has been warmer or cooler than usual, your insulation might be due for an upgrade.
7. Use Fans to Keep Cool
Even though fans won’t actually lower the temperature in your home, they will move air to help you feel cooler. In fact, you can turn on some ceiling fans or box fans instead of your air conditioner if you want to save money and energy. Just remember to turn off the fans when you leave the room. They may not use as much energy as your air conditioner, but they still use electricity. There’s no point in keeping them on when nobody is there to feel their effects.
8. Install Energy-Efficient Curtains
Closing your curtains is always a good way to keep cool without turning on your air conditioner, but some curtains are designed to block drafts and sunlight. These blackout curtains are fairly inexpensive and easy to install, so find a set that best suits your home if you want to save energy.
9. Seal Drafts and Replace Weather Stripping
Your home loses more heat than you think through gaps in your windows, especially if you haven’t upgraded your windows in the last 10 years or so. If you find that your home is always drafty, upgrade your weather stripping to seal up the gaps in your windows and doors. Temporary stripping is a good short-term solution, but you should eventually have professional weather stripping put in place if you want to get the most out of your home’s heating system this winter.
Your home’s HVAC system does use a lot of energy, but there are ways to mitigate that and keep your utility bills down to a reasonable level. These tips will certainly help, but you can always contact an HVAC professional if you have any questions or if you think it’s time to upgrade your system.
Contact White Mechanical, Inc. for More Information
If you are in need of a more efficient HVAC system for your home in Foothill Ranch, CA, White Mechanical, Inc. will be glad to assist you. Not only can we take a look at your heating and cooling system and make sure that it’s working efficiently, but we also specialize in furnace and air conditioning installation, air duct cleaning, and humidifier installation. We also offer financing for installations and other promotions regularly to make sure that our services are affordable for those who need them.
For more information about our heating and cooling services, contact White Mechanical, Inc. in Foothill Ranch today.