When it comes to saving money on energy bills, we’re at the head of the queue. Energy efficiency allows you to save costs when it comes to energy bills because less energy is wasted. It’s simple; wasted energy equals wasted money.
So you start by making sure that all electrical appliances are unplugged when not in use and switching off lights when you leave a room. It doesn’t make a huge difference to your bill, though, so you’re wondering what else you can do.
How about starting with one of the most energy-intensive appliances in your home – the HVAC system? By improving HVAC energy efficiency, you can save some money on your heating & cooling budget.
Not sure where to begin? That’s not a problem – we are going to lay out the best ways to make your HVAC system run at peak efficiency.
Getting your system to run more efficiently is a lot easier than you might think. And no, you won’t have to crawl up into the air ducts, or anything that drastic. We’ve gathered together simple tips that anyone can make use of.
It’s basic physics – hot air rises and cool air sinks. Which means that when the air flow in a room is stagnant, any hot air will rise and cool air will settle to the bottom. This may seem to be a good thing in summer when you want cooler air, but it does mean that upper floor bedrooms could become very hot.
In winter, it could make your living areas downstairs much colder and less comfortable. Either way, you’ll need to spend more money to ensure that the temperature is properly regulated.
The key to beating this phenomenon is to prevent the air stagnating in the first place. Do this by using a fan to help the air circulate around the room. This helps prevent the air from settling and separating out.
Again, it’s simple physics – sunlight streaming into your home is going to have an effect on the internal temperature. This is a good thing during a cold winter so take advantage by opening up all the curtains in the home. The sunlight will stream in and provide extra warmth.
In summer, the opposite is true – in summer, you want to keep the sun out as far as possible. This means keeping the blinds down and shutting the drapes. To take things a step further, it may be worth installing shutters or awnings to help seal out more sunlight and heat during summer.
You need to set the temperature to a setting that you are comfortable with. If you are walking around the house feeling freezing, increase the temperature. If you are warm enough, keep it where it is. Just because it is freezing outside, doesn’t mean that the same applies inside.
In fact, if your home is well-insulated, you are going to be protected from a lot of the seasonal fluctuations anyway.
In general, it pays to remember that the higher the difference between the inside and outside, the more energy it will take to regulate the temperature inside. So don’t aim for arctic frost on hot, summer’s day – go for cool rather than cold to minimize the temperature difference.
When your system is installed, you need to ask how often you are advised to clean out or change out your filter. Most filters will do well with being cleaned at least on a monthly basis, or as the manufacturer recommends. If you live in a dusty area, this schedule may need to be stepped up.
It’s usually something that is pretty easy to do with minimal tools being needed. Do consult the manual so that you know what is going on. Alternatively, if you are having a new system installed, ask the tech to show you what to do.
From there, just create a schedule, set reminders on your phone and you’re done.
If you’re only going to follow one tip on this page, this is the one to follow. It is a good idea to have regular check-ups for your system, done by a professional. It’s going to cost you some money, but the improvement in efficiency will more than make up for that.
Also, by having regular maintenance performed, you get a much longer lifespan from the unit. The tech will also be on the lookout for issues that need to be addressed. This would mean that most problems can be caught in the earlier stages when they are easier to fix.
What do we mean by regular checks? These could be once or twice a year, depending on how often you use the unit and what it is used for. If you use the cooling function, get it checked out at the end of winter. If you use the heating system, get it checked out at the beginning of autumn.
One of the top reasons for problems with this kind of unit is that it can get clogged. If the vents are clogged, the system has to work a lot harder to get the kind of results that you want. That means that more energy is used.
To keep things as clear as possible, consider where the outside unit will be placed carefully. Is it protected from the sun? Are there trees or bushes nearby that could shed their leaves onto it? It’s better to keep it in a clear area away from trees.
If you have no option, though, make sure that you check the vents when you check the filters.
Do you have more questions about energy efficiency and your HVAC unit? Do you want to make sure that it has been installed in the optimal position? Is it time to retire your old unit and get a new one? Then it’s a great time to consider installing a more efficient model.
Proper installation means having a system that works at peak efficiency, so you need to choose the installer carefully. At Dave Lane’s Hi-Tech Mechanical, we have an expert team standing by to answer your questions and advise you on the latest in energy efficient air conditioners.