Heating and cooling systems are responsible for about half of the average home’s total energy usage, and a faulty system can easily lead to steep utility bills. That makes it crucial that homeowners looking to reduce their energy costs stay on top of regular HVAC maintenance. From monthly filter replacement to duct sealing and annual tune-ups, here are a few ways to ensure your system is working at peak performance.
One major source of excess energy usage is heating or cooling a home even when no one is present. Programmable thermostats allow homeowners to automate their HVAC system to operate at preset times to suit their schedule. Energy Star estimates that installing a timer can save an average of about $180 annually.
Regular Filter Changes
When too much particulate matter builds up on system filters, the equipment must work harder to maintain good airflow. In addition to increasing energy use, that means more strain on moving parts and the potential for premature equipment failure. Generally, you should replace filters every 1-3 months, but be sure to check the filters monthly during periods of heavy use.
Another common source of HVAC inefficiency is ductwork that is leaky or uninsulated. Sealing and insulating ducts that run through unfinished spaces, such as the attic, garage or an unheated basement, can improve overall efficiency by as much as 20 percent.
Annual Pre-Season Checkups
Scheduling an annual checkup with a heating and cooling technician is one of the most important steps to keep your home comfortable year-round, minimize your energy costs and extend the life of your equipment. Arrange a pre-season tune-up for your heating system in the fall and for your cooling system in the spring to ensure your system will be working at its best when you need it most.
If you feel your heating and cooling equipment isn’t keeping you comfortable enough or you’re worried about your energy bill, an HVAC specialist can help assess your system, make needed equipment tune-ups and give you advice about maximizing your home’s energy efficiency.