Every household runs on a budget. And for many homeowners, heating and cooling costs eat up a significant chunk of that budget. But there are many ways that you can invest a small amount of time, effort, and money to increase your HVAC efficiency and reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home.
THERMOSTATS AND CEILING FANS
Ceiling fans are a great way to move air within a room to help you feel more comfortable. In the summertime, fans pull the hot air up to the ceiling and leave the cooler air in the lower part of the room for you to enjoy. They are not making the room cooler, but it feels cooler because the air is redistributed. In the wintertime, reverse the fan so that it blows the warm air back down to where you are sitting. Using fans correctly will allow you to adjust your thermostat down a few degrees in the winter and up in the summer. This process will save wear and tear on your HVAC equipment and save you money.
Programmable thermostats are another great way to reduce your heating and cooling costs. You set the temperature for various times of the day or the week. So when you are away, the summer temps increase a few degrees while winter temps drop a few degrees, which lowers your operating cost.
Finally, be aware of the location of your thermostat. Do not place lamps too close to the thermostat or allow sunlight from a window to artificially heat the unit. Both of these artificial heat sources will cause your air conditioning to run more often and waste money.
Regular maintenance is the best way to know that your HVAC system is functioning at peak efficiency. This will also prevent small issues from growing into more extensive and costly repairs. Schedule HVAC service once in the spring and once in the fall to ensure that you will have no problems with your furnace and air conditioner when you need them the most.
It can be easy to forget about changing your furnace filter regularly. It is a minor task, and you might think that it does little to impact your HVAC’s function. But you might be shocked to learn that a clean air filter increases your unit’s efficiency enough to reduce operating costs by an average of 5% to 15%! Make it a habit to check your air filters on the first of every month to save energy and money on your heating and cooling.
RECOGNIZE OTHER HEAT SOURCES
You might be very shocked to discover just how much sunlight can impact the temperature inside your home. And depending on the time of year, that added heat can be your friend or your enemy. In the summertime, keep curtains and blinds closed to block out the additional heat and reduce the air conditioner’s workload. But in the wintertime, open the curtains and blinds to take advantage of the sun’s warmth to reduce your heating cost.
Think about when you are using your oven and your clothes dryer. Both of these appliances introduce a lot of heat into your home. In the summertime, use them as sparingly as possible and in the evening or night’s cooler hours. In the wintertime, both appliances will provide a boost of warmth to your home in the evening after the sun goes down, and your furnace is forced to work harder.
INSULATE AND REPAIR
You are spending your hard-earned money to heat and cool your home. And you don’t want that money wasted as warmed or cooled air escapes through cracked windows, around gaps at your doors, or through walls with poor or no insulation. All of these issues are things that you can repair or have fixed by a handyman to keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
Leaks in your ductwork can also be robbing you of as much as 30% of your cooled or warmed air. And exposed ductwork in areas such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces should be insulated to reduce heat loss in the winter and cool air loss in the summer. If you are not comfortable inspecting your ductwork, call the pros from Action Air & Plumbing at (806) 787-6501 for a duct and HVAC inspection. Our factory-trained team will help keep your system functioning cost-effectively throughout the year. And all of the work is backed by a complete warranty.