Are you looking for ways to be more energy efficient and lower your monthly energy costs? Here are just a few tips and tricks you can try to reduce your HVAC energy usage:
1) Adjust the thermostat.
Did you know that for each degree you lower (or raise) your thermostat closer to the outdoor temperature can help make your heating or cooling bill one percent less expensive? According to the U.S. Dept. of Energy adjusting your thermostat closer to the outdoor temperature for a period of 8 hours can have a significant impact on your heating and cooling costs. This doesn’t mean that you have to be uncomfortable. If it’s cold outside, try adding another blanket, and if it’s warm, try sleeping with a light sheet instead.
Dirty air filters can restrict your HVAC system’s airflow, which makes your air conditioner or heater work harder than necessary to keep your home comfortable. An overworked system can increase your energy bill, not to mention cause wear and tear on your system’s parts. Homeowners should check their air filters at least once a month and clean or replace them when they become dirty or clogged. Regularly replacing your air filter will not only help you keep your system running efficiently, but it can also improve indoor air quality.
3) Install a programmable thermostat.
Do you often forget to adjust the thermostat when you leave the house? A programmable thermostat helps you better regulate temperature (and save energy) when you’re not home. Homeowners can program the thermostat to adjust the temperature during times of the day when they are typically not home such as when they are at work or during vacation.
4) Reduce drafts in your home.
Another way to save on your monthly energy costs is by ensuring that there are no drafts in your home. In fact, the Department of Energy estimates that homeowners can save as much as 30% on their energy bills by sealing air leaks and closing up drafty windows. One of the easiest ways to stop a draft is by rolling up a towel and placing it over the crack where air is escaping. You can create a more sturdy air seal by filling up a scrap of fabric with sand, and then placing the draft guard over the drafty spot.
5) Make sure your AC and heater are properly maintained.
Just like your vehicle, your home’s HVAC system needs regular tune-ups to keep it running smoothly and efficiently. Though systems vary based on manufacturer, it is recommended that you get your air conditioner and heater serviced at least once a year. During your service visit, an experienced HVAC technician will make sure that your equipment is clean and well-lubricated. He or she will also check for any repair needs and recommend the best fix. By ensuring that all of your system’s parts are in working order, you can work to prevent more serious repair needs later on. Getting your HVAC system serviced at least once a year will not only help you maintain or improve system efficiency, but it can also prolong the life of the unit.