It’s that time of the year again...energy costs invariably rise during the coldest months of Winter. By undertaking a few proactive steps, you can reduce your home HVAC system’s energy use and its cost to you. Here's 8 ways you can help curb a rise in your utility costs this Winter.
1. Keep up with routine maintenance If you don’t already have a proactive maintenance program for your HVAC system, it’s a good idea to schedule semi-annual service. Central Air Heating & Cooling can make sure your system is operating at its most efficient settings and that parts or components are in good working order. Your first, seasonal Clean & Check is only $59!
2. Operate your HVAC system at optimum and stable temperatures The temperature you set your thermostat is largely a matter of personal comfort, but many systems have optimum temperature ranges that ensure they’re using energy efficiently. Consult your owner’s manual or call Central Air to find out the most energy-efficient temperature range. It’s also a good idea to avoid fluctuating temperatures too frequently – such as turning the Furnace way, way down – as this can make your HVAC system work harder and less efficiently when you turn it back up.
3. Seal your home from drafts Most people think about stopping air infiltration in hot Summer months, but it’s also crucial during the cold Winter season – any air leak in your home robs your HVAC system of efficiency since that heated air is lost. Ensure that all windows are shut completely and that doors/windows have good weather seals before turning on the furnace.
4. Beef up your insulation Particularly in older homes, inadequate insulation is another factor that can lead to losing heated air from the HVAC system. If you’re unsure about your home’s insulation levels, contact Central Air for a few tips on insulating properly.
5. Turn down the thermostat Setting the thermostat to a cooler temperature that you still find comfortable can seem like a small step, but the energy savings can be substantial. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, setting your thermostat back 10 to 15 degrees for 8 hours at a time during the heating season can save you 5 to 15 percent in heating bills each year.
6. Use a programmable thermostat If you don’t already have one, installing a programmable thermostat can go a long way in reducing energy use when you’re not home. The less your HVAC system has to work to maintain comfortable temperature levels that aren’t necessary because no one is home, the more savings you’ll see on your heating bill. Remember, you don't want to drop the temperature too low when you're gone though(see #2)
7. Change your air filters regularly Central Air recommends changing you HVAC system’s air filters once a month. There are a lot of factors that contribute to how quickly a filter can become dirty(pets, how often you clean, flooring type, etc.). Changing your filter monthly helps ensure your system has smooth, uninterrupted airflow. Dirty filters can cause stress on the system and makes it work harder than it needs to- resulting in increased energy use.
8. Use curtains, blinds and drapes to help control temperatures Window coverings can have a big effect on your home’s heating load. In cooler months, harness the sun’s free warmth by keeping curtains, blinds or drapes open on south-facing windows during the day to allow sunlight in. Close them at night to add an extra layer of insulation between the glass and your home's interior.
If you have any other questions about keeping rising utility bills at bay or would like us to personally ensure your furnace is running properly and efficiently, give us a call at 314-296-6225 or visit CentralAirStl.com