4 Steps for Heating and Cooling More Efficiently
Roughly half of what you spend on energy every year goes toward keeping your home comfortable. Taking a proactive approach to heating and cooling more efficiently can help you keep these costs under control. You can start with the following steps:
- Keep your HVAC equipment properly maintained. By scheduling a spring tuneup on your air conditioner and a fall checkup on the furnace, your entire system can be optimized for energy efficiency. Regular preventative maintenance can also catch small issues before they result in costly repairs and lower your risk of unexpected equipment failures.
- Check your HVAC filter monthly during the heating and cooling seasons. Change or clean the air filter whenever it looks dirty. The reduced airflow that results from a clogged filter makes your HVAC system system work harder to heat or cool your home effectively, plus it requires more energy. A dirty air filter also lets dirt and dust accumulate on your system’s components, which can cause damage and shorten their life expectancy.
- Have a programmable thermostat installed. Use it to schedule automatic temperature adjustments at night and during the day if you’re away from home. Raising or lowering your target temperature by a single degree, according to the season, can reduce your yearly energy consumption by 5 to 8 percent.
- Seal and insulate ductwork. The conditioned air that escapes from leaky, uninsulated ductwork results in considerable energy losses, especially when the ductwork runs through areas like the attic, basement, garage or crawl space. To improve your system’s efficiency by 20 percent or more, seal the seams and connections using metal-backed tape, and then wrap the ducting in insulation.