Your heating and cooling system is one of the most important parts of your home. Without it, conditions inside the house would quickly become unbearable. This important system is also one of the biggest users of energy in your home, so it’s a good idea to look for opportunities to make it more efficient. Here are four suggestions for cutting the fuel consumption of your HVAC.
Maintain Clean Filters
The more dust there is in your system, the more energy it takes for your fan to push conditioned air through the ductwork and into the living space. Be sure to change all the filters in your system according to the schedule specified by the manufacturer. While you have the filters out, you may also be able to gather up some additional dust with a vacuum cleaner hose. This will reduce the amount of dust that starts to accumulate on the new filter.
Check the Condition of System Seals
Many systems slowly develop gaps or cracks over the years. It could be the result of poor assembly, degradation of materials, or damage by people working nearby. Whatever the case, it results in your climate-controlled air escaping into the attic, basement, or crawlspace, wasting large amounts of energy. Modern materials like silicone sponge sheet should be used to replace aging gaskets and seals so that the life of the new components is longer.
Have Regular Service Done
Some people see no reason to call their HVAC contractor until a problem emerges, but they don’t realize that many problems are preventable–or that a lack of attention to routine maintenance could be costing them money. By having a contractor check out the system before each change from cool to heat and vice versa, you will head off a lot of problems that would have not only been expensive to repair but could have been costing you a lot of extra energy before they break down. Most service calls are very affordable and can easily pay for themselves if they prevent just one breakdown.
Seal the House
It’s the oldest suggestion in the book, but it still works. There are many steps involved in weatherizing your home. We’ve all been told many times to caulk around windows and doors, but we also need to check some of the things that don’t get mentioned as often. Make sure the gaskets on the bottom of your garage doors are in good shape. A drafty garage is like a heat-absorbing cold compress for your house. Check door sweeps and thresholds to make sure they meet up properly without dragging. Visit the attic to make sure that insulation is still properly placed and that eaves are venting correctly.
Controlling energy costs is high on the list for people who are trying to save money. With so much gas and electricity going into your HVAC system, it’s no wonder that some improvements to its efficiency can go a long way toward reducing those monthly bills. A few inexpensive and simple steps are well worth the effort in the long run.