Energy consumption is projected to slightly rise in 2017. 1 This means costs will rise as well. Here are five suggestions to help homeowners save money on home heating and cooling.
1. Switch to a SEER-14 HVAC Systems
The United States Department of Energy (DOE) implemented new energy requirements. That means if Homeowners in the South and Southwest need to replace their HVAC unit, the unit needs to have a Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER )14 rating if manufactured after January 1, 2015.
2. Clean or Replace Filters
Homeowners do not need HVAC training in order to change air filters. The DOE recommends that filters be changed every month if the HVAC unit is being used on a regular basis. This enables homeowners to reduce energy consumption by as much as 15% and extend the unit’s lifespan by preventing overheating.
3. Inspect the Ducts
Sealed, insulated ducts can reduce energy usage by at least 20%. 2 Homeowners can inspect and seal accessible ducts that run through the attic, garage or unheated basement or hire an HVACR professional. Duct sealing should be done with duct sealant or foil tape, and the ducts should then be wrapped in insulation.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat properly can enable a homeowner to save money by having the ability to set it at different temperatures depending on when they are home or not. They should be installed away from direct wind and sunlight and never placed behind or under large pieces of furniture.
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It is also important for the thermostat to be consistently set at the right temperature. Turning it drastically up or down will simply waste electricity rather than speed heating or cooling. The thermostat can be set to 78° in the summer and 68°F in the winter for optimal results; however, temperatures can be adjusted depending on the schedules of the home’s residents. 3
5. Have Professional Maintenance Done
Homeowners should have their HVAC inspected and maintained at about twice a year. The technician check electrical wiring, tightening electrical connections, checking thermostat settings, and inspecting the condensate drain to ensure units are in proper working order.
Some HVAC maintenance is seasonal: at the beginning of each summer, you’ll want to have an HVAC professional check refrigerant levels and clean and adjust blower components. Before the temperature drops in the fall and winter, you should check for dirty or malfunctioning oil or gas connections as well as carbon monoxide leaks.
1 – https://www.eia.gov/forecasts/steo/report/electricity.cfm
2 – http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=heat_cool.pr_hvac
3 – http://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats
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