While your air conditioning provides comfort to you and your family and relief from the heat outside, it also represents a large part of your energy costs. There are several easy things you can do to save money on your electric bills and avoid wasting energy. Here are 5 energy-saving tips for a more efficient HVAC system.
Invest in a Programmable Thermostat
With a programmable thermostat, you can preset the HVAC to start or stop at any time of the day or night. Smart thermostats allow you to remotely control your system and provide the option to shut it down when no one is at home and activate it before you return. That way, the air conditioning runs according to your family’s schedule and only when necessary. It saves power and increases your HVAC energy efficiency.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Regular maintenance keeps your HVAC running efficiently, and it’s important to schedule seasonal maintenance with experienced service professionals. They can verify that all parts are running smoothly, including your air filters, pressure mechanisms, and thermostat. They will also take preventive actions to avoid any potential malfunctions which could interfere with your HVAC system performing efficiently. The easiest way to remember service appointments is to sign up for a maintenance plan and automatically receive seasonal visits.
Use an ENERGY STAR-Rated HVAC System
Is your system 10 years old or more? It is time to change. The department of energy says you can save 20 to 40% of your cooling costs by replacing it with a newer system. When shopping for a new HVAC system, consider the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER). This rating indicates how much energy the unit uses to produce a specific cooling output, and you should aim for a SEER of 15 or higher. The best choice is to opt for an ENERGY STAR-rated HVAC system. Appliances labeled ENERGY STAR have strict guidelines, are highly energy-efficient and will allow you to save on your electric bills.
Retrofit Your System
If you own a heating and air conditioning unit that is well maintained and used regularly, you might consider retrofitting, which consists of replacing or adding parts to upgrade the system. You can replace the compressor, add demand-controlled ventilation, condenser fan controls, or air-side economizers. Updating these components can increase HVAC efficiency and allow you to save on energy costs.
A poorly insulated house can allow cooled air to escape and forces your HVAC unit to overwork, thereby increasing your energy bills. To achieve better HVAC energy efficiency, make sure windows stay closed when the system is running, and consider adding insulation to your doors, windows, and attic. Wrapping your pipes and ducts in insulation also helps to keep conditioned air inside. Insulation relieves the strain on your HVAC system and helps to make it last longer.
By applying these tips, you will increase your HVAC energy efficiency and lower your energy costs. There are many ways to save energy and a few small efforts can have a big impact on your bills.