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Your HVAC system can take up a significant portion of your annual energy costs. In fact, the US Energy Information Association reported that heating and cooling takes more than half of all the energy expenses in the average American household. That outstrips the increasing energy consumption of electronics and appliances.
Fortunately, you have many options to maximize your HVAC’s efficiency and lifespan as well as reduce its energy consumption. Here are six things you can do.
Insulate Your Home
One of the basic ways to improve your HVAC’s efficiency is to seal and insulate your home. If you have hot or cold air getting into your home from the outside, that forces your HVAC to work harder than it should to maintain the right temperature in your home. That, in turn, leads to higher heating and cooling costs. Keep your windows and doors closed whenever your HVAC unit is running. If your windows are in bad condition, consider installing new ones to improve HVAC efficiency.
Check Your HVAC’s Filters
HVAC filters accumulate dust, mold, mildew, and other particles that obstruct airflow, and that causes the unit to function improperly. Filters tend to get clogged up, especially during extreme weather conditions. That means you must clean or replace filters as often as twice a month.
Fortunately, you can remove or replace HVAC filters without the help of a professional. Just follow the instructions indicated in your HVAC maintenance guide.
Clean Your HVAC Coils Regularly
Because HVAC units are usually located in secluded areas that are rarely cleaned—such as your basement, your roof, or your attic—they can quickly accumulate dirt and grime. Debris on your HVAC coils forces your unit to work harder to keep your home at the right temperature, and it can degrade indoor air quality. To resolve this problem, clean your coils at least once a year.
Install a Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat, also known as a communicating or connected thermostat, allows you to create programmable and automatic temperature settings based on the weather conditions, your daily schedules, and your heating and cooling needs. It learns your household’s patterns and adjusts heating and cooling depending on whether your home is occupied or is about to be occupied. This reduces the use of your HVAC unit when nobody is home for long periods of time.
Install Energy-Efficient Fenestration
A fenestration is an opening installed on your home’s exterior walls, including entry doors, windows, and skylights. Conventional fenestrations are made with single-pane glass, which allows heat to pass through by conduction. This causes heat loss during cold seasons and heat gain during hot seasons, requiring your HVAC system to work harder than it should to compensate. Investing in energy-efficient fenestrations, especially those that come with double- or triple-pane glass and insulated frames, can help improve the performance and efficiency of your HVAC.
Get Help From a Licensed Technician
A licensed HVAC technician can help you spot problems such as damage, leaks, and energy consumption issues. By being proactive, you may avoid costly repairs and unnecessarily high energy consumption.
Over time, your HVAC system will become less efficient. If you do preventive maintenance, however, you can surely reduce your home energy costs and prevent the high expense of repairing or replacing your unit.