You rely on heating, ventilation, and cooling to keep your indoor space comfortable all year round. But heating and cooling can be expensive. Your HVAC system accounts for about 40% of your utility bill, but there are steps you can take to lower the energy costs of your HVAC system significantly. From routine maintenance to various DIY tasks, let’s take a look at some energy-saving tips every homeowner should know.
1. Install Smart Thermostats
Maintaining optimum heating and cooling settings cuts down your energy costs by up to 8% on average. Smart thermostats automatically regulate the temperature, or you can control them from your phone and the touch panel to dictate how hot or cold you want your home. Smart thermostats are easy DIY projects that take less than an hour for experienced DIY’ers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your smart thermostat. If you’re unsure, you can always give us a call at James’ Plumbing & Heating and we will take care of the rest.
2. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Even top-of-the-line HVAC systems lose efficiency over time. Lost efficiency means the system will have to work harder to heat and cool your space which means more electricity and water bills. Regular HVAC maintenance from James’ Plumbing & Heating ensures your HVAC is in good working condition.
Schedule maintenance during spring and fall. You get more savings for hiring an HVAC expert during those off-peak seasons. Regular maintenance checks identify problems early on and avoid long-term repairs, which can be very costly. Consider a monthly maintenance plan to lower overall costs. Maintenance impacts 5%-40% of HVAC-related energy costs.
3. Replace Your Air Filter
Air filters pick up dust and dirt, creating clogs that lead to issues with performance. A dirty filter lowers the HVAC’s efficiency and increases energy costs. Luckily, replacing your filter is an easy DIY job that saves you money on utility fees and maintenance.
Change your filters every 4-6 months, or monthly if you have pets and kids. Compare the dimensions of the filters before replacing them with newer ones and follow the instructions on how to replace an HVAC filter.
4. Install a New System
We certainly don’t like to add the cost of a new HVAC system to the high energy bill you pay. But sometimes, you have to pay expensive upfront costs for a new split system to register savings over its usage.
If you have an HVAC system older than ten years, replacing it with an Energy Star model will save you about $700 per year in utility bills. Aim for units with a Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14-18 or an Energy-Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 8. You can double your savings, especially if you double the SEER rating.
Federal law requires new units to have at least: 13 SEER and 8 EER. You may have to upgrade your system if the ratings are below Santa Fe requirements.
5. Retrofit an Old System
A workaround for expensive new HVAC system purchases is retrofitting an old one. You will spend less on installing and updating components than on buying and installing a new system. Consider retrofitting the compressor and adding side economizers and condenser controls to take advantage of the natural cooling. It is best to contact James’ Plumbing & Heating for such installations to install them correctly.
6. Seal Duct Work
Leaky ductwork lets hot gases escape, which means your heating system puts in a double shift and consumes much more electricity. Use sealing products on your ductwork and pipes to prevent leakage. You will save on energy bills and also keep your environment fume free.
7. Clean Your System and Its Surroundings
Cleaning debris, clearing twigs from your outside unit, and cleaning coils are simple DIY tasks that prevent your system from consuming too much water and electricity. Use a vacuum cleaner to clean the coils rather than an abrasive chemical solution. Be careful not to damage the integrity of electrical connections and gas pipes.
8. Make Use of Curtains
Curtains and blinds block the summer heat, which improves long-term performance and reduces cooling bills. Conversely, during winter, dress appropriately and make use of curtains and blinds to prevent your home from leaking warm air, resulting in increased heating costs. Insulation is crucial in lowering utility bills when using HVAC systems.
Stay Comfortable While Saving
Lowering your energy costs for an HVAC system transcends installation and regular maintenance. A blend of human input, technology, energy-efficient practices, and proactive maintenance of your HVAC system ensure you reduce your utility bills and improve your system’s efficiency. James’ Plumbing & Heating helps you become a savings guru through maintenance and installing HVAC systems that lower bills without compromising comfort.