For many households, heating and cooling take up over half of their utility expenses. If you’re using a central air conditioning system, a large chunk of your budget most likely goes into your energy bill. A study by the Fraser Institute shows that energy costs among Canadian families have been rising over the years. The cost is high enough that they have to deprive themselves of consuming other goods to devote their expenditures on energy.
Energy conservation is an integral operation, may it be commercial or residential. Ensuring that your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems operate efficiently is one of the best ways to conserve energy and keep your bills down. Using an HVAC system that is not at its peak shape is like throwing money out the window.
Don’t let this happen to you! Here are 10 HVAC efficiency tips before you turn on your units:
Insulate Your Home and Create System Boundaries
Insulation serves as a barrier to slow down heat exchange. It prevents heat from coming in on a warmer day and keeps it from going out on a cool day. If you are keen on reducing heating and cooling costs, insulating your home is one of the most important steps you can take. The idea is to seal your home to keep the air temperature stable, preventing your HVAC system from working too hard.
Likewise, you also need to maintain proper system boundaries to control heating and cooling. Boundaries can be changed based on the time of the year. For example, your garage may or may not be heated, depending on the season. You may need an energy audit to clearly define the boundaries, know-how and when to set the setting, and assess optimal airflow. By creating system boundaries, you can improve the HVAC energy efficiency by as much as 20%.
Keep Your HVAC Systems Clean
There are numerous upsides to keeping an HVAC system clean. First, it improves indoor air quality. Microbes and particles thrive in the moist and dusty environment of vents and ducts. Also, like any appliance, your unit will work at its most efficient when it’s clean and clear of debris
Particle build-up around the evaporators and cooling coils causes the system to operate up 30% than it usually needs to be. The best thing about regular cleaning is, it is also the cheapest and easiest HVAC energy saving tip there is. You don’t have to spend a lot, and you can even do it yourself.
Keep Vents Unblocked
Any object or particle lying around your HVAC unit? Remove them immediately. They can potentially block the airflow to and from your system, making it harder for your HVAC to cool or heat your space.
Always check your unit for any debris regularly. Vacuum any blockages away from supply vents to maintain a steady airflow. Make sure that no furniture or curtains are placed near these air vents. If you have baseboard heating, never place any object directly against it.
Change Your HVAC Filters Regularly
Filters remove dust, dirt, and particles from circulating through the air and keep indoor air quality healthy and safe. When the filter is clogged, it reduces airflow inside the HVAC system, making it work twice as hard and wearing them out more quickly. If unchanged, it can also cause the system to malfunction and damage the equipment. The rule of thumb is, you have to replace air filters every 90 days. The more frequently you use the unit, the more often you have to change the filter.
While you’re at it, you can also opt for HEPA filters. These filters can trap particles as tiny as 0.3 microns, small enough to trap some viruses and bacteria. Not only will it keep your HVAC system working properly, but it also helps you achieve better indoor air quality.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
A programmable thermostat helps regulate air current temperature to reasonable levels at various times of the day, allowing a more economical heating and cooling operation. Some programmable thermostats can store multiple temperature settings a day. For instance, during winter, you can set the temperature higher while you’re awake and set it lower when you sleep or away from home.
In the summer, you can follow the same thing by keeping your house warmer when you are away, and cool it down only when you are at home. Doing this can save you up to 10% per year on your energy bill.
Consider Heat Sources in Your Home
Some appliances release heat while they are running, such as dishwashers and dryers. If the thermostat detects their heat, it will signal that your home needs to be cooled more, causing your system to work unnecessarily.
Keep these heat-producing appliances or any heat sources away from your thermostat and time their use properly. Avoid running these appliances during the summer months between 10 AM and 4 PM. The heat will pour into your house and may signal your air conditioner to work more than it needs.
Seal Openings in Your Home
Any holes or openings allow heat to escape. Patch holes around doors, pipes, wires, and windows. You may also want to seal the bottom of outside doors. If your house has a fireplace, make sure that the flue damper is closed when not in use.
If you live in an older house, you can also insulate your windows with plastic wrapping to decrease the draft. Heavy fabric curtains can also help insulate windows. If you need to warm up your house, you can always open and close blinds and windows to let the sun heat the room during the day.
Use Your Fans
Ceiling fans aren’t just for summer. Some fans have an “up” setting, which draws warm air to the ceiling during summer. In winter, you can set it to “down” to bring the warm air to you.
You can also run the fan together with your air conditioner. It helps circulate air, pushing it down and over the people in the room. You can even set the thermostat higher by 4 degrees without losing the cooling effect of your air conditioner.
Properly Specify and Size Your System
Buy an air conditioner that is specific to your needs. Conserving energy while maintaining comfortable climate conditions can be achieved by correctly sizing your HVAC systems. Purchase a unit based on the temperature demand throughout the year. If you’re only looking to cool a single room, a window unit would be the best option for you. By using the wrong size equipment — a small unit for larger areas or vice versa — it will be placed under a great strain and consume more volumes of energy.
Schedule Regular Maintenance
Ensure that you are operating the best and energy-efficient air conditioner by conducting regular maintenance. At least once a year, have your system checked by an HVAC professional. They can catch the problems that you may not be aware of before they become serious. Doing so can save you money on expensive repairs.
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are essential building components that keep you comfortable throughout the year. Keeping it on while reducing energy costs can be a challenge. That is why improving the HVAC energy efficiency is crucial.
If you are looking for HVAC maintenance in your homes or business, count on HVAC Link to do the job. We offer 24/7 Emergency Service to all customers. Call us now at (416) 567-3498 to learn more.