7 No-Cost Ways To Reduce HVAC Energy Costs
Reduce HVAC Energy Costs in These Simple Ways
The lion’s share of your HVAC Energy Costs pays for heating and cooling your home, about 53% according to the Department of Energy (DoE). Since this is a reoccurring bill if you set a goal of reducing the cost by 10% per month, the final month of your billing cycle will be free. If you can reduce your bill without the expense, that is an added bonus. Is it possible? Let’s consider some energy-saving steps with no cost or little cost to you that might help you reach that goal.
Before exploring the DIY projects, remember they do not replace a system check by your HVAC professional; the DoE, manufacturers, and industry professionals recommend annual preventative maintenance checks in the Spring and Fall to extend the life of your system.
The key to saving energy is to understand how your HVAC system functions and take steps to make it function more efficiently. These principles work for both the furnace and the air conditioner since some of the components are used during both functions.
January 10th is National Cut Your Energy Cost Day and we thought we would pass on ways to reduce HVAC Energy Costs. Here are seven no-cost suggestions for HVAC maintenance that can help you reduce your HVAC Energy Costs.
- Clean supply vents and cold air returns. Clean leaves and debris from around the outdoor air conditioner condenser. Remove the air filter and install a new, clean filter. Dust, dirt, and debris are enemies of your system. They work into areas that restrict airflow and reduce the flow of electricity.
- Uncover vents. Quite often, the flow of family life, vents, and returns get covered by mistake. Covered vents restrict airflow and make the blower motor work harder. Make sure that floor vents and wall returns are uncovered.
- Check your thermostat. Adjusting the thermostat setting by 5 to 8 degrees for at least eight hours per day will save energy. With a programmable or smart thermostat, you can program the adjustment during overnight hours, while the family is sleeping, and/or during the day, while the house is empty.
- Go solar. Using solar power does not require solar panels; it does take an awareness of the sun’s movement. Opening and closing blinds or curtains strategically can warm or cool the house, according to the seasonal need.
- Schedule cooking and cleaning. Large appliances generate heat and scheduling their use can help you save energy. Remember to run the dishwasher, washer, and dryer during the coldest part of the day. This will reduce the heating and cooling load and save money year-round. Using the oven during cold weather and avoiding using it during hot weather will also reduce energy needs.
- Insulate and weatherproof. This is perennial advice since it is an easy DIY project that can be felt. Blocking the outside air from entering your house saves energy, but it also feels good. Approximately 80% of your energy is lost through the attic, so it is in your interest to make sure you have adequate insulation.
- Inspect ductwork. While you are inspecting the insulation, check to make sure exposed ducts are sealed properly and well insulated. If you observe a problem that you cannot fix, be sure to call a professional.