Leading an environmentally responsible lifestyle doesn’t have to be difficult. With rising energy costs and parts of the nation suffering from extreme weather conditions, fires, and droughts, we can all understand the importance of energy conservation and protecting the environment for future generations. In addition to world-saving incentives, simple conservation practices can lower HVAC costs and save you money in the long-run.
Here are six ideas for making your home more efficient and slicing your utility bills.
Upgrade Residential Heating and Cooling Systems
Consider upgrading older appliances and HVAC systems to newer energy-efficient models. Homeowners should replace older air-conditioning and heating systems and invest in newer units, as you could reduce your energy costs by half.
- Keep an eye out for high energy-efficiency ratios (EER) or ENERGY STAR qualified units, as higher EER ratings mean a more energy efficient air conditioner.
Homeowners can also take advantage of various financial incentives through rebates for replacing older models. Many utility companies, as well as state and local governments, will issue rebates with valid proof-of-purchase.
- Check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency for qualifying products and regulations.
Proper Regular Maintenance of Residential Cooling and Heating Systems
It may sound obvious, but homeowners can become neglectful when it comes to performing regular maintenance of heating and cooling systems. Dirt and dust can be overlooked — and ultimately hinder the system’s performance and lead to permanent damage.
If you notice an unusually warm room or area in your home or insufficient cooling, this could be a symptom of a clogged up vent. Avoid damage and expensive repair costs by maintaining residential AC and heating systems in good condition with regular maintenance by a licensed HVAC technician.
Use Reusable Air-Conditioning and Heating Filters
Changing your filter makes your HVAC system more efficient and costs you less in electricity. Invest in a reusable/permanent filter and simply hose off the filter when it’s clogged with dust and dirt. Using a permanent filter will save you money in the long run, cut your utility bill and decrease waste.
Buy ENERGY STAR Certified Products
Shrink your electric costs by switching to ENERGY STAR certified products. Nowadays, ENERGY STAR products can replace energy-hungry products like light-bulbs, refrigerators, washer/dryer units, furnaces, fans, and even your television. The savings add up and these environmentally-friendly products usually cost about the same as their conventional counterparts.
Buy Programmable Thermostat
You no longer have to stalk the thermostat! Programmable thermostats allow you to control your HVAC units, even when you’re not at home. A programmable thermostat can make your life a little more worry-free by taking care of your home’s heating and cooling for you.
Other features include:
- Timers and Scheduled cooling/heating
- Cooling and Heating Settings for particular rooms
- Control over mobile phone, tablet, or laptop
Check out programmable thermostats such as the Nest, rated a favorite amongst homeowners.
Buy Solar-Screens and Seal Air Leaks
Solar screens intercept up to 70% of solar energy before it even gets into your house. Window films and screens are a great option, as they cut down the amount of energy needed to keep your home cool. These transparent, metalized sheets reflect heat before it can be transmitted through the glass. Remember, windows must be shut for window films to work!
It may not sound like much, but small holes and gaps throughout your home could be costing you a lot of money by allowing heat to escape when attempting to keep your home warm and cozy. Use foam or caulk, available at your local hardware store, to seal cracks in the following areas where cold or warm air typically escapes. Areas such as:
- Around windows and doorframes
- Around holes in walls where pipes enter and exit your home
- Around electric wiring and exterior walls
Saving Money and Helping the Environment
Remember, efficient operation of any air conditioning and heating system relies on a proper maintenance and repair. In addition to saving yourself money, you can also help save the environment for future generations and instill good habits for your kids to follow.
For more information or assistance with your HVAC system, contact Parthenon Plumbing for all your Heating and Cooling Services.