Take simple steps to make your heating or cooling system more efficient and environmentally-friendly.
Up to 33 percent of all energy costs in the United States come from indoor heating and cooling. Being comfortable inside is important for many people, but in order to save money and wasted energy, it’s also important to take steps to make your HVAC equipment more efficient. Consider the following tips:
Get equipment that’s the right size for your home. If an HVAC system is too small for your space, it’ll have to work overtime to keep the temperature even. Conversely, systems that are too big can cost a lot of money to operate. Have a professional HVAC contractor perform a complete load calculation to determine your specific needs and recommend a system that’s right for you.
Seal leaking ducts to prevent loss of hot or cold air. This may be the easiest thing you can do to improve your system’s efficiency. With simple duct sealing measures, you can save 15 to 20 percent on your energy consumption.
Maintain your system. Change air filters monthly, keep coils clean, ensure the outdoor condenser unit isn’t blocked or clogged, and have your HVAC contractor perform annual safety inspections and tune-ups.
Set your thermostat to maintain a comfortable temperature rather than allowing temperature swings. “Don’t wait until your home gets too hot or cold to turn on your system,” recommends Leland Smith, president of Moore Home Services. “It’s much more efficient and comfortable to set your thermostat early and let it maintain that temperature throughout the day.”
Reduce the load on your heating and cooling equipment. Turn off unneeded lights and shut down household appliances that drain electricity when they’re not being used. Avoid doing laundry or running the dishwasher at peak energy times when your air conditioning system is running. Use ceiling or box fans to move air around your home. Open windows at night to let in cool air and reduce the strain on your air conditioning unit.
Don’t shut off vents to little-used rooms. “Many people close vents in their homes and think they’re saving energy, but that actually makes things worse,” says Mr. Smith. “HVAC systems are designed for a certain amount of air flow, and blocking off registers creates too much pressure and makes them work harder, which leads to premature repairs and replacements.”
Read moreRead Less