Heating and cooling expenses account for about half of your monthly energy bills, and purchasing and installing a new furnace and/or air conditioner could require an investment of several thousand dollars.
Consequently, in your best interests to develop heating and cooling habits that reduce wear and tear on your HVAC equipment while limiting its energy consumption to the bare minimum—but without sacrificing on comfort.
That’s a tall order, but if you follow these tips you just might be able to pull it off:
1. Arrange an annual maintenance visit with your HVAC contractor
Well-maintained HVAC equipment will last longer and perform better, and when repairs are needed they will be less costly if problems are detected in their early stages.
While one annual inspection is good, semi-annual inspections that cover your furnace and air conditioner separately are even better.
2. Change your air filters on a regular schedule
Because they are hidden behind air intake grills, most people have no idea how dirty their HVAC air filters can get after a few months of usage. To guarantee smooth and steady air flow through your ductwork, and high-efficiency performance by your furnace or air conditioner, you should install new filters shortly before the start of each heating and cooling season.
But don’t make the mistake of installing cheap fiberglass filters. You should purchase good-quality pleated air filters instead, they will last longer and do a superior job of removing airborne contaminants from your home.
3. Learn to use your programmable thermostat
Programmable smart thermostats with full Wi-Fi capability can reduce your heating and cooling bills by 20 percent or more, but only if you understand their features and learn to use all of them.
If you purchase a smart thermostat (and you should), be sure to read the manufacturer’s guide from cover-to-cover before using it, and ask your HVAC technician lots of questions when he or she comes to your home to install this amazing money-saving device.
4. Have your ductwork inspected, and sealed and insulated if necessary
Ducts can become clogged and contaminated with dust, debris, animal droppings, bacteria and many other unpleasant remnants, all of which will slow air flow and reduce your HVAC system’s operating efficiency. For this reason, you should have your ducts inspected and cleaned by HVAC technicians every 2-3 years.
To improve efficiency further, try sealing your ducts with metal-backed or mastic tape, along the seams and anywhere else there might be holes or gaps. After finishing, you may want to wrap them in insulation to prevent them from heating up in the summer or cooling down in the winter, but this step is only necessary if your ducts run through an unconditioned space like an attic or crawl space.
5. Have a home energy audit performed
A home energy audit carried out by a trained expert can uncover valuable information about the performance of your HVAC equipment. The auditor will identify sources of energy loss or waste that may be costing you money each and every month, and show you how to make changes that can save you significant dollars in the long run. Enlightenment is the goal of a home energy audit, and you will appreciate the experience immensely once you’ve had it done.
6. Upgrade your HVAC equipment
New furnaces and air conditioners carrying Energy Star certification can be 15-20 percent more energy-efficient than older models, which means they will pay for themselves in utility bill savings well before they reach the end of their lifespan.
Rebates may be available from various sources (local or state governments, manufacturers, utility companies, etc.) when you purchase a high-efficiency furnace or air conditioner, and that them an even better bargain than you expected.
IAQ Promotes Energy Efficient Technology
Whether you need a system tune-up or a heating and cooling upgrade, Indoor Air Quality, Inc. is the premier provider of HVAC-related services in Highlands Ranch and throughout the Denver Metro Area. We are strong proponents of energy-efficiency and can help you find the most efficient furnace or air conditioner available in your price range, and if you call us today to discuss your heating and cooling needs you’ll be delighted to discover what we have to offer.