While you may cringe at the sight of your seasonal energy bills, heating and cooling spikes are to be expected. An estimated 50 percent of your home energy expenses can be attributed to HVAC activity, making efficient system operation important for keeping your budget from going into the red. While you may not be ready to replace your equipment, you can take several steps to ensure your system is as effective as possible. Following are four habits for more effective operation.
Regular HVAC Care
Routine HVAC maintenance is easy to forget, but it’s the most important way to stretch your energy budget while improving indoor comfort levels. Annually, your equipment can lose 5 percent or more in efficiency because of normal wear. HVAC maintenance counteracts this energy loss in the following ways:
- Cleaning promotes better airflow, reducing stress on equipment while improving heat exchange.
- Identification of worn or failing parts facilitates prompt repair before a serious malfunction occurs.
- Leak inspection and fitting tightening can promote more efficient performance while limiting the potential for serious system damage.
- Airflow issues and other problems can be identified and discussed as needs for duct sealing or other services are explored.
A mismanaged thermostat can wreak havoc on your energy bills and home comfort levels. This can result from an older thermostat’s calibration becoming inconsistent or from a family member making personalized adjustments to settings without your knowledge. An effective HVAC system typically features a programmable thermostat, which can result in savings of up to 10 percent annually. Modern options include smart thermostats that can be accessed via smartphone or computer apps for even more precise control. Energy experts recommend a set-point of approximately 68 degrees, and changes can be programmed to reduce energy usage when household activity is minimal.
Seasonal attention to air leaks and insulation condition can be important for limiting energy loss. By sealing leaks and installing adequate attic insulation, you may trim up to 10 percent from your heating and cooling budget as you enhance your HVAC system’s efficiency through reduced heating and cooling loads. You can also reduce energy loss by installing energy-efficient windows or by using window treatments that reduce heating and cooling activity. Your system’s efficiency can be changed by the addition of a room, making it important to consult your HVAC contractor if you will make any major structural changes to your home.
An effective HVAC system needs to be able to move air easily through the home, and duct sealing and cleaning can support efficient operation. Comfort levels can seem inadequate if humidity is too high or too low, making it equally important to consider appropriate supplementation of heating and cooling activity with humidifiers or dehumidifiers. Although you may suspect outside air quality in the Savannah area of affecting your home’s air supply, you may want to have indoor air quality testing done to identify indoor pollutants that may be affecting your equipment and your family’s health.
As you work toward a more efficient home comfort system, you can contact Dyess Heating & Air for an HVAC maintenance service today. Our team also offers support for indoor air quality and energy efficiency concerns in the Savannah area. Call us to schedule your service today.