It’s never been more important than now to take care of your home. Global warming, rising fuel costs, and the growing reliance on natural resources have made energy-efficient solutions more apparent than ever. Thankfully, the world of home improvement is full of ways to make your house more comfortable at a lower cost. By implementing a few simple changes, you can reduce your home’s heating and cooling costs and lower your carbon footprint. Here are 10 tips for improved energy efficiency from a licensed professional company.
1. Invest in a New, Better System
If you haven’t replaced your HVAC system in a while, it’s time to do so. Older systems are less energy-efficient than newer ones, and they’re more likely to break down. If your HVAC unit is older than 10 years, consider replacing it with a new model. The cost of a new system has dropped dramatically in recent years, so it’s more affordable than ever to make the switch. A San Marcos licensed contractor can help you decide which type of system to get based on the size of your property and your household’s needs.
2. Seal Ducts to Avoid Leakage
It’s estimated that up to 50% of the energy used in your home is lost through leaks in the ductwork. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, replacing leaky ductwork with sealed ductwork can reduce a household’s energy consumption by up to 20%. The first step is to seal all ducts that are accessible. If you have a small crawlspace or attic, it’s worth sealing it off and adding insulation.
3. Use an Energy-Efficient Water Heater
A large portion of the energy you use comes from heating water. Water heaters are one of the most expensive appliances in your home for monthly bills. An old water heater uses around 30% more energy than a new one. Replacing an older water heater with a newer model could save you hundreds per year on your utility bill. New models also come with unique features like temperature controls and auto-shutoff to help you save energy.
4. Consider an Air Conditioner for Smaller Spaces
If you live in a small house or an apartment, you might not need a full-sized air conditioner. A smaller unit that only cools one room could be the perfect solution. These units are much more energy-efficient than larger systems, and they cost less to operate every month. Consider installing a whole-house fan instead of an air conditioner if your home is small enough. Whole-house fans circulate air throughout a residence, making them more efficient than window units at cooling down a single room.
5. Install Programmable Thermostats and Controls
A programable thermostat will allow you to set your home’s temperature automatically. You can set the thermostat to turn on when you’re at work and off when you’re asleep or away. Programmable thermostats can save up to 20% on cooling costs and up to 10% on heating costs. This is because they allow your house to be heated or cooled only when occupied, reducing energy waste. Some newer models even have settings to adjust the temperature based on your schedule and preferences automatically. Consider replacing your thermostat with a newer model if you have an older, nonprogrammable one.
6. Clean the Coils
The coils on your heating and cooling system are what cool or heat the air before it gets to your home. It’s essential to keep these coils clean because a dirty coil will make your system work harder than it needs to. This wastes energy and costs you money. Cleaning them out will also help get rid of any smells and prevent future problems with your system. You can use a garden hose with a spray nozzle or an air hose with a spray nozzle to clean them. You can also use an air compressor if you have one available in your home or business. Use regular water to clean out dirt from around the outside of these coils, but be careful not to use too much water. If you use too much water, it can damage your system.
7. Use Your Heating and Cooling System Properly
Your system will work more efficiently if you know how to use it properly. Here are some tips on how to make your system more efficient.
Fill up your water heater to the top. It’s a common misconception that a hot water heater should be filled only three-quarters of the way full. This isn’t true. A full tank will heat water faster than an empty one, which means you’ll save energy by filling it up.
If you aren’t using a room, avoid running your heating or cooling system in it. The unit will have to work harder to heat or cool a room that isn’t occupied, which wastes energy and costs money. Instead of heating or cooling an empty room, close off the vents so that no air can get in, and then turn down the temperature on your thermostat so that the room won’t get too warm. If you aren’t using a room, seal off its vents and turn down the temperature on your thermostat so that it won’t get too warm and waste energy.
8. Regularly Change the Air Filters
Your heating and cooling system will work more efficiently if you regularly change the air filters. A dirty air filter can make your HVAC unit work harder than it should. That wastes energy and costs you money. Filters are cheap and easy to replace, so there’s no reason not to do so. You can usually find replacement air filters at big box stores or home improvement stores. If you aren’t sure how often to change your filters, look on the manufacturer’s website for instructions or ask a professional at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning what they recommend.
9. Clean Your Drain Line
Your heating and cooling system will work more efficiently if you clean the drain line. Over time, sediment can build up in your drain line. If your drain line is clogged, it can cause your unit to work harder than it should have when it’s on. One way to test if your drain line is clogged is to try flushing a toilet in another part of the house while your unit is running. If you hear water coming into the unit, your drain line isn’t clogged, and there’s no need to clean it out. If you don’t hear water in the unit, it could signify that your drain line needs cleaning out. The best way to clean out a drain line is by hiring a professional for an inspection and cleaning service.
10. Get Your Heating or Cooling System Serviced Regularly
Your heating and cooling system will work more efficiently if serviced regularly. If you aren’t sure where to get your HVAC unit serviced, call around and ask other homeowners in your area who they use for their heating and cooling system service. Ensure the contractor is licensed and has a good reputation in the community. It’s also vital that they have experience working with your region’s typical type of systems. If you need help finding an HVAC contractor, contact your local government office or look online for local contractors in your area.
By following these 10 simple tips, you can keep your heating and cooling system working at its best. If you want to make sure your unit is working efficiently, you’ll need to know how much energy it uses and how much you’re paying for it. You can find this information by looking at your energy bills or by hiring a professional to conduct an energy audit of your house.
At Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning, we offer HVAC installation services in the area and are available 24/7 for emergency repair services. We also provide other services such as smart thermostat installation, humidifier installations, and air purification, among other services in San Marcos and the surrounding areas. If you have any questions about keeping your heating and cooling system running smoothly, get in touch with the team at Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning today for help.