5 Tips for Making Your HVAC System More Efficient
Don’t blame the temperature extremes for your higher energy bill, but make improvements to your home’s HVAC system to save money and feel more comfortable indoors, regardless of the weather outside. Here are some measures which are effective and not expensive at all. Apply them as soon as possible.
1. Seal air duct leaks immediately.
The leaks increase the loss of warm/cool air and force your HVAC system to work harder and use more energy. A close inspection will reveal where the leaks are exactly and how big they are. They should be sealed with a material which is especially designed for the purpose. Mastic sealant is considered to be the best choice followed by metal tape. Remember that duct tape or any other simple home material won’t do a good job at all.
2. Watch out with the furnace filters.
People are often recommended buying thicker filters to keep the indoor air quality high. While they perform this function exceptionally well, they may slow down the air flow and cause lower energy efficiency. Your best bet is to avoid using HEPA filters or other very thick permanent filters unless it is absolutely necessary due to an ill member of your family.
Remember that disposable furnace filters require changing every two to three months while permanent ones should be cleaned regularly. Leaving a dirty filter for too long can increase your energy bill and cause more sneezes and coughs in your home.
3. Keep outdoor HVAC unit in good shape.
Rule number one is to leave a clearance of at least two feet around it and of at least ten feet above it. In fact, it is best not to have anything about this unit as its job is to take exhaust air out. When it works properly, you get to save a good amount of energy.
Remove vegetation debris gathered around the unit as often as necessary. When you mow your lawn, don’t point the chute in its direction as you can cause blockage of the coils and even damage them, given that they are quite thin. In most cases, the outdoor unit requires full cleaning once a year.
4. Clean registers properly.
Don’t just close them and vacuum them. Remove them and clean them thoroughly from both sides. You will do a good job with a slightly damp cloth. It is possible to use a cleaner, after confirming that it is safe. Before you fit each register back into place, check the air ducts for dirt, obstruction and leaks. Get proper air duct repair and/or cleaning timely, if necessary.
5. Get a programmable thermostat.
This gadget allows you to adjust the temperature in your house depending on when you are in and out without having to tweak the settings several times a day. You simply need to program it in advance and it will regulate your HVAC system’s performance in line with your needs. While it may not necessarily bring your energy bill down by a fifth, as promised by some manufacturers, you can expect significant savings, especially over the longer term.