Think about your home’s heating and cooling system. You expect it to keep your home warm in winter and cool in summer. We don’t often think about heating and cooling until there’s a problem. However, we should be aware that we can save money and reduce harmful environmental emissions at the same time. Did you know that these systems, referred to as HVAC systems by the industry, can waste a lot of electricity? By taking a few steps to maintain our HVAC systems in the home, it is possible to save a lot of money on monthly electricity bills. Read on for three simple steps you can take right to save on heating and cooling costs.
Step One: Adjust Your Thermostat
With our home thermostats, the settings make it a snap to save energy. Lower your temperature settings by one degree in winter (experts recommend a setting of 68 degrees), and raise it by one or two degrees in summer (to around 78 degrees). By doing this, you can save up to eight percent on monthly electric bills.
Programmable thermostats add even more control. Set the temperature higher or lower when you are away from the home, and you could save 15% or more on monthly costs while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Step Two: Check Your Filters
A clogged HVAC filter can dramatically increase the energy needed to run the system. Replacement filters are inexpensive and easy to swap out. By doing so, you are reducing strain on the motors and blowers inside these expensive systems, helping them to last longer in the process.
While you’re at it, clean the coils with a brush or vacuum to remove built-up debris. Vacuuming any air intakes also helps the system run more efficiently.
Step Three: Invest in Air Sealing
The complicated network of ducts and piping inside our homes helps warm or cool air to reach the interior rooms. If there are leaks in those ducts, you’re wasting money. An HVAC specialist can seal these ducts using special tape or something called mastic, dramatically reducing or eliminating wasteful air leaks. This job is usually inexpensive, too, and the cost will eventually be covered by increased energy savings.