HVAC Energy Use and Efficient Tips to Save More at Home

Posted by admin on March 27, 2015, at 2:53 pm

Henscey Electric and Air ConditioningYour utility bill is one item in your budget that you have some control over. Fortunately, you can reduce your Dayton home’s energy consumption without sacrificing your family’s comfort in the process. HVAC energy use is the biggest contributor to a utility bill, but you also buy energy for lighting, water heating, cooking and running all of the electronic gadgets in your home.

There are several do-it-yourself steps you can take to lower energy bills, and there are other projects that will require the help of an HVAC contractor or other energy experts.

Maintain and Upgrade HVAC Equipment

An annual or semi-annual service contract with your HVAC technician is one of the best ways to maximize HVAC energy use. On a routine service call, your technician will lubricate moving parts, tighten electrical connections, clean coils and burners, check for correct thermostat operation, measure and adjust refrigerant levels, and make sure the airflow in your system is properly balanced.

You can perform some routine maintenance tasks that will keep your HVAC systems running more efficiently. Change the air filter regularly to keep airflow unobstructed and HVAC parts clean. Keep grass and leaves from clogging the outdoor A/C or heat pump equipment. Vacuum or sweep floors and HVAC vents frequently to keep dust and pet hair out of the ductwork.

If your furnace or air conditioner is more than about 10 years old, upgrading to modern high-efficiency equipment might pay for itself through energy savings alone. Talk to your HVAC contractor about high-efficiency condensing furnaces, air-source heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps and other energy-efficient options for heating and cooling your home.

Reduce the Home Heating and Cooling Load

You’ve shored up HVAC energy use, and now, if you can reduce how much energy is required to keep your home comfortable, you will not only save money on heating and cooling bills, but you can also install smaller, less expensive equipment when the time comes for replacement.

Here are a few ways to tighten up your home so less energy is required to heat and cool it:

  • Seal air leaks. Seal cracks around door and window frames, and fill holes in your exterior walls where pipes or wiring go into your house. Replace weatherstripping so doors and windows seal tightly when they’re closed. When your fireplace is idle, keep the damper closed.
  • Upgrade attic insulation. If you can see the edges of the floor joists in your attic sticking up above the insulation, you’ll benefit from adding more insulation to your attic floor. Before the new insulation goes in, have your contractor seal all air leaks between your attic and the living areas of your home.
  • Pay attention to landscaping. Deciduous trees planted on the south side of your house will provide shade and evaporative cooling on summer days, then they will lose their leaves and let solar heat into your home in the winter. Shrubbery or fencing that shades but doesn’t crowd the outdoor HVAC unit will keep it running cooler and more efficiently.

Reduce Energy Used by Lighting and Appliances

The energy you use for lighting, cooking, heating water and running electronics adds up to a significant portion of your monthly utility bill. Reducing the energy consumed by these items directly lowers energy costs all year long, and in the summer, it reduces cooling costs by reducing the amount of waste heat that’s generated.

Here are a few ways to save:

  • Lower the temperature of the water heater. Reducing your hot water temperature to 120 degrees will save energy and protect your family members from accidental scalding in the tub or shower.
  • Replace incandescent bulbs. You can save money on electricity and the long-term cost of bulbs if you replace your most-used incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs.
  • Turn out the lights. Install motion-sensing switches or get in the habit of manually turning out lights when you leave a room. Small savings in electricity can add up to big money over time.

Learn more about how Henscey Electric, Heating & Air Conditioning can help you maximize HVAC energy use or contact us today at 888-718-7144 to schedule a thorough inspection that identifies problem areas.