How to Reduce Your HVAC Energy Costs
During the hottest months of the summer, having an HVAC system can be a lifesaver. In fact, if you’re set up for year-round efficient heating and cooling by Bradley Mechanical, you’re probably not spending too much time thinking about how nice it is to live in comfort through the seasons. Until you get the energy bill, that is. Even if you’re totally happy with your HVAC system as it is, we could all stand to save a bit more money on heating and cooling systems at the end of the year. If you do a bit of work keeping your HVAC system healthy and do what you can around the house to make sure everything stays energy-efficient and stable during the winter and summer months, you could end up seeing huge savings on your energy bill. If you’re trying to save a few bucks, here are a few ways you can help your HVAC system work smarter, not harder.
Do Regular Maintenance
If you’ve had your HVAC system for a long time or if you live in an older house, you’ll want to make sure you’re spending enough time (and money) on scheduled check-ups and routine maintenance. That means removing, cleaning, and replacing the air filter somewhat regularly, running a self-cleaning or self-diagnostic function on your A/C, and paying attention to any odd or unexplained noises your machine is making. You’ll also want to schedule a professional maintenance appointment for your HVAC system at least once every sixth months, preferably before winter and summer. If your HVAC is due for an upgrade or needs a minor repair, it’s better to know about it in advance as opposed to having to sweat it out for the rest of the summer. If your HVAC isn’t performing up to standard, it could cause you to use it more often to less effect, racking up high heating and cooling bills all through the year.
Upgrade Your Windows
If your windows aren’t doing the work of insulating your home, your HVAC system is going to suffer for it. If you’re living in a house that’s due for a window upgrade, or if your windows are more than 20 years old, the first thing you should be looking for in your replacement windows is a high R-value and a low-E coating. These factors will make sure your windows are working hard to keep cold air out and to keep warm air trapped and circulating through your home when you turn on the heating system. A low U-factor will help your windows perform better in terms of keeping your home free of leaks and drafts. Low-E coated windows will also make sure your house doesn’t get too overheated from the sun’s glare when summer rolls around, helping you maintain a cool, breezy indoor atmosphere without having to keep the A/C on day and night.
Block All Leaks
The best way to make sure your HVAC system is working to its best ability to do everything you can to make sure it’s not running up against any undue resistance. That means gaps, air leaks, and drafts entering your home through unsealed or badly weatherproofed windows. If your windows haven’t been sealed up in a while, buy some weatherproofing materials and plug up all the holes around your entryways and windows. Even if you spend a day taping up all your windows from the inside out, you’ll be helping your HVAC do its best job. Getting a door brush or door stopper will decrease airflow into the main area of your house while plugging up smaller gaps such as around electrical sockets will help the smaller rooms in your home stay insulated without your having to crank up the heating all winter.
Keep Temperatures Stable
Whether you’re someone who likes to have the heat on all winter and the A/C on all summer or if you like to only use the system when you really need it, keeping your internal home temperature stable will go a long way towards helping you keep warm or beat the heat without racking up energy bills. When your HVAC system has to keep switching between high and low temperatures, or simply keeps getting turned on and off all day, it has to work a lot harder to generate the right temperature. Do your HVAC system a break, and keep your temperatures consistent during times of uncomfortable heat or cold. You’ll see big savings on your bills at the end of the year, and you’ll be able to maintain a steady temperature without having to make your system sweat.
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