Your home comfort system, which typically consists of an air conditioner and furnace, can consume as much as half of your home’s overall energy. Both systems use and waste the most energy in your home out of all large appliances and equipment. Because heating and cooling our homes is important all year round, taking steps toward improving energy efficiency can make a significant difference in both saving energy and money.
Update your home comfort system
The most effective thing you can do if you have an older system is to update your air conditioning unit and furnace. Many homes have systems that are at least 10 years old, and many changes have occurred since then with the performance and efficiency of home comfort system equipment. Outdated equipment can potentially waste a great deal of energy, therefore wasting money on costly electric bills. New, high-efficiency air conditioners have a higher SEER- Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. This rating is a measurement of energy usage and efficiency that contributes to cost savings. Specific savings are dependent on how old your unit is when you upgrade it, the condition the unit is in, and how much the efficiency rating changes from the old unit to the new. Newer units typically have a much higher efficiency rating than before. The minimum efficiency rating allowed by the government is 13. Upgrading to an A/C with a rating of 19 can potentially decrease prior energy use by half.
For furnaces, the same rules apply. If you are considering updating your air conditioner, you’ll want to also consider updating your furnace at the same time. A new air conditioner that runs with an old furnace will most likely not perform at its maximum efficiency and may experience premature problems.
Maintain your home comfort system
Whether you have an old comfort system or a new one, maintenance is a top priority for the best efficiency your unit can offer as well as longer and more secure performance. Maintenance includes changing the air filters regularly and having your unit inspected by an HVAC professional. The internal components of an air conditioner and furnace can become dirty, dusty, form cracks or rust, and more. An HVAC Technician can conduct an inspection to check for any issues that might cause breakdown or unsafe operation. Using an infrared camera that goes deep into the furnace, cracks, holes, and other deterioration can be clearly detected and addressed.
Changing air filters in your system routinely also helps to keep your system working properly. The air filters are designed to collect dust and other particles from your air, and they need changed according to how quickly they become filled. The more particles they have collected, the less air that can flow through the filter, which causes your system to work harder, thereby using more energy than necessary and increasing cost. Air filters need to be changed as often as once a month to as seldom as once every three months, depending on their specific efficiency. Keeping a well-maintained system ensures that your system will function properly and safely when you need it the most.
More tips and tricks
Upgrade your thermostat
A programmable thermostat can make a world of difference. This kind of thermostat can better control the temperature of your home, especially when you are not there for long periods of time. Certain systems can also control temperatures in individual rooms for the most energy savings.
Open air registers
Get the most of your airflow by making sure air registers are fully open and not blocked by furniture or other objects. This allows the most air to flow where it needs to for heating and cooling your home.
The sun is a natural heat source. In the summer, keeping shades lowered can help to keep temperatures down inside your home naturally. Likewise, in the winter, keeping shades up during the day can help to increase the temperature, saving you money year round.
When outside temperatures cooperate, take the opportunity to open your windows and turn off your home comfort system. This helps with saving energy and money and has the added benefit of ventilation, which helps indoor air quality. Fresh air can make a noticeable difference in physical comfort and better breathability.
Use ceiling fans
Ceiling fans allow you to raise the temperature during summer and lower it during winter. Adjusting your thermostat by just a couple of degrees can possibly save you a significant amount of money over a year.
This article was provided by Gillece Services. Voted one of the best businesses in Pittsburgh by Trib Total Media, Gillece Services provides top quality service in Plumbing, Heating, Cooling, and Electrical, as well as Indoor Air Quality, Water Quality, and Waterproofing. Visit http://gillece.com/ or http://gilleceplumbing.com to see all of the services we offer. Photo by starmanseries