Ways to Improve the Energy Efficiency of Your HVAC System
By Rachel Kopp of One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning
Utility bills take a large bite out of your monthly budget, but you may not take the time to figure out which of your home’s conveniences consume the most energy. Statistics from the Department of Energy show that energy required to heat and cool a home is responsible for about 54 percent of an average utility bill. If you have not taken steps to conserve energy or to improve energy efficiency, these are some things that you can do:
- Change air filters
- Get a tune up
- Use a ceiling fan
- Set thermostats
- Make interior and exterior adjustments
Most of these tasks are inexpensive, and they can make a difference in controlling the amount of energy that you use.
Choose a Quality Air Filter
Resist the impulse to buy the cheapest air filter. The purpose of a filter is to prevent particles of debris from entering your HVAC system, and you can test yours to see how effectively it performs.
- Hold the filter over a white sheet of paper.
- Sprinkle black pepper on it.
- See if pepper lands on the white paper.
- Get a filter that is good quality.
Some filters need changing every month, but you can check the manufacturer’s recommendation to make sure.
Routine Maintenance by a Professional
The evaporator and the condenser coils need cleaning annually, and refrigerant levels are likely to need topping off. Your HVAC technician can help you extend the life of your equipment significantly by performing inspections and routine maintenance on all moving parts. A check of your duct work can detect leaks that waste energy.
Ceiling Fans as Attractive Accents
Your décor dictates the style of fan that can look nice in your home, and there are many models that match almost any decorating style. They cannot produce cool air, but they help an air conditioner cool a room by moving the air around. A slight assist in cooling reduces the energy load on your air conditioner. The cost of a tune up by a professional can more than pay for itself in energy savings and prevention of breakdowns.
Take a Reasonable Approach to Temperature Settings
A programmable thermostat can maintain the heating or cooling level that you prefer, and it can do many things to help you control energy consumption in other ways. Settings are available to match the way your family lives, with patterns of usage that match five work days and two weekend days or other helpful combinations. You probably do not need to cool or heat your house as much when no one is at home, but remember to make it comfortable for your pets. Set the thermostat to prepare the house for your return home.
Setting the temperature controls that you prefer are a matter of personal preference, but keep in mind how much each degree of warm or cool air costs you. Experts recommend setting the thermostat at 78 degrees F in the summer. You save about two percent if you increase the temperature setting by one degree. In the winter, start at 68 degrees F and give everyone a sweater.
Adapting Interior and Exterior Spaces to Save Energy
Drapery that covers windows can make a difference in your energy consumption. Use them as a barrier to keep out cold drafts in the winter and hot sun during the summer. Make sure that the drapes do not cover the HVAC vents.
Give the compressor that sits on a concrete pad outside your home room to breathe. Remove weeds or shrubbery to give it a border of at least two feet on all sides.
One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning Carolinas provides air conditioning and heating repair in Fayetteville, NC.
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