Your cooling and heating systems are vital to keeping your home comfortable through the hottest and coldest times of the year. In the modern world, most people can’t manage without them. Besides their importance to your general health and well-being, your air conditioner and furnace are some of the most expensive pieces of equipment in your home. For both reasons, homeowners want to extend the lives of these pricey items as long as possible (and everyone likes an efficient unit that saves them money). Here are some tips for increasing energy efficiency and extending the life of your HVAC equipment:
Check your filters regularly. Even though the instructions that come with a filter say that it is usable for three months, you need to check your air filter at least once a month. A dirty filter interferes with air flow, causing your air conditioner or furnace to work a lot harder than necessary and shortening its lifespan. Change filters any time they look dirty — don’t wait for a scary accumulation of fur-like dust to form.
Install a programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat can save you big bucks if you tell it to reduce your heating or cooling usage while you’re at work or asleep. Investing in a Smart Thermostat can help you track your energy consumption, and it can even learn your heating and cooling preferences so that it can set itself automatically if programming isn’t your thing.
Close heavy curtains during the most energy-intensive parts of the day. It’s much easier to keep outdoor heat and cold on the proper sides of the windows with the help of big, heavy curtains or thick blinds. During the summer, cover the window during the hottest part of the day to reduce heating from outside. And in the winter, keep windows covered at night. You’ll be surprised how much less your HVAC equipment works when you lend it a hand.
Turn on ceiling fans. Ceiling fans aren’t just for summertime — they’re great for evening out your home’s indoor temperature all year long. By adjusting your fans throughout the year, you’ll keep your conditioned air circulating longer. In the summer, make sure your fans are turning counter-clockwise to push air down toward the floor; in the winter, run your fan clockwise to force the warm air that collects near the ceiling down along the walls.
Tighten your ducts. You would be shocked and dismayed at the amount of energy you’re wasting if your ducts are loose or hanging wide open. Take a gander under your house or in your attic and make sure your ducts are all connected tightly — even a small air leak makes it harder to keep your home comfortable and allows dust and debris in through the vents.
Plan for yearly maintenance. Just like your car needs regular oil changes, your furnace and air conditioner need regular servicing. Schedule a check-up for your air conditioner in the spring and your furnace in the fall, before you’ll need them. During a routine check-up, your HVAC technician can evaluate whether your equipment is functioning properly and safely, and he can catch problems early before they become costly headaches.
Seal air leaks. Air leaks can allow a huge amount of outdoor air to infiltrate your home, so make sure to caulk around all your windows, add a new sweep to each door, and seal any holes where pipes or wiring come into your home. There’s no point in conditioning the outside air when you can keep it outside.
Add insulation. When you’re doing everything you think you can and your climate control system is still not doing what it should, look around your attic. If you can see the ceiling joists of the floor below, you don’t have enough insulation. Adding more insulation isn’t a difficult process if you have easy access. After it’s installed, you’ll find your home’s temperature stays more stable.
You can get a lot of extra mileage out of an air conditioner or heater that’s properly maintained, and save a ton of money on energy usage throughout its lifetime. Call Precision Air to learn more about our yearly maintenance plans. We’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-602-349-6922.
We want to help you learn about about all things air conditioning and heating! Have any questions or want to see us write about something? Give us a call, chat, or email and we'll do our best to help you out.