If you are a homeowner, you will probably have the need for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) services at some time or other. Like most energy-conscious homeowners, you probably are looking for sensible solutions to keep energy costs down while utilizing and maintaining your HVAC system. Your HVAC repair and installation technicians can offer suggestions as part of their services. Here are 5 dos and don'ts to make your home more energy efficient:
1. DO Request a Certified Home Energy Audit
When you think of HVAC services, you may envision repairs and installation. However, most HVAC companies offer what is known as a residential energy audit. Having an in-home audit will provide you with solutions that can help you conserve energy and reduce those ever-increasing energy bills.
The certified HVAC technicians will utilize highly sophisticated diagnostic tools to determine problems that are wasting energy in your home. After locating these problems, they can make necessary repairs and corrections. One of the diagnostic tests include locating air leaks in vents. If necessary, duct work may be sealed to prevent leaked air from escaping. In addition, the technicians often use an infrared camera to detect problems. Repairs or modifications can be made to correct insulation issues that have been detected through the camera. After your home audit, request a full report of the findings.
2. DON'T Wait Months to Change Your Filters
Although you may think you can get by waiting for several months or so to change an air conditioner or heating filter, this may not be the way to go. It's best to change out an air filter on a monthly basis or whenever it seems dirty or damaged. By not doing so, your HVAC system will have to work harder and you could end up wasting energy.
3. DO Schedule Routine Maintenance for Your HVAC System
Routine maintenance checks from your HVAC company or contractors will help to improve the performance of your system and conserve energy. It may also help improve the longevity of your HVAC system. Your HVAC maintenance check will detect parts that have failed, contributing to energy loss in the home. As part of the maintenance check, compressors, filters, and thermostats may need to be repaired or replaced.
Maintenance may also include a professional "tune up" of the system. This may mean changing the refrigerant levels in your home's air conditioning every few years. Dong so can make the unit more efficient by up to 20 percent.
4. DON'T Use an Outdated Air Conditioner or Heater
If your HVAC system is very old, it may not be energy efficient. Energy Star compliant systems are noted for saving homeowners considerable costs on heating and cooling. If you want to slash your energy bills considerably, look for the Energy Star seal.
5. DO Update Your System's Thermostat
An older model manual thermostat may be contributing to your skyrocketing monthly energy bills. Have you considered that you may be wasting energy when you are away from home and running your air conditioner or heater? Installing a programmable thermostat can provide a smart solution. It can be installed using a cordless drill and screwdriver, or you can have your HVAC technician do this for you.
This will not only allow you to pre-set the temperature to your desired comfort level, but also program the system to shut down or turn back on at a selected time. Better yet, choose an ultra-modern programmable thermostat that includes WIFI connectivity. This will allow you to program the system wirelessly when you are outside of the home. All you will need is your smartphone, tablet, or laptop and a wireless connection.