At the moment, we hear a lot about environmental issues that are forcing us to consider making changes in our lives. Many of us now recycle diligently and make environmentally conscious purchases when we shop in person or online. This makes good sense, but there is another reason why you may want to start thinking along these lines, it’s a great way to save money. We rely on our HVAC systems to maintain our indoor comfort all year round, but if we’re not careful, the energy bills can get out of hand quickly. In this article, we will present four ways that you can optimize your HVAC efficiency to keep your home comfortable without breaking the bank.
The Focus Should be Buildings
Before we begin, let’s take a look at why domestic and commercial buildings should be a focus for society as we move forward. According to a recent US study, buildings consume around 72% of the energy output of the United States. Around half of this consumed energy is devoted to heating and cooling processes. The average American home spends approximately $2,200 on energy bills, and around half of that is spent on heating and cooling. So, improving the efficiency of our HVAC systems is going to be extremely important if we want to make real energy savings.
Any HVAC system loses efficiency as it ages, but replacing heating and cooling equipment frequently is simply unrealistic. Many people wait until their equipment struggles until they call for help, but by that stage, it may have failed entirely, and a great deal of energy is expended in the interim. A better approach is to hire a local HVAC specialist to carry out regular maintenance on your HVAC system. This will improve energy efficiency, identify potential problems, and save money by extending the useful lifespan of the system and lowering energy bills.
If you have an older HVAC system, it’s important to weigh up the costs and benefits of a replacement. Perhaps it is still too early to consider purchasing a new system when you can still get a couple of good years out of your existing system? This is a cheaper option, but you may have to deal with more frequent repair visits unless you invest in some regular HVAC maintenance. Let’s take a look at these four HVAC optimization methods and in more detail.
- Do You Have the Correct HVAC System?
If you moved into your home and the HVAC system was already in place, it’s likely that you don’t know too much about it. After all, you didn’t choose it, you don’t know how it was installed, and it may not be the right HVAC system for your home. Many people simply choose the largest HVAC system that they can afford and either install it themselves or get a friend that’s good at DIY to help.
This is entirely the wrong approach; an HVAC system must be correctly sized to suit the home. If the system is too large or too small, it can introduce a number of problems. The system will be inefficient, there may be frequent repairs, and the system will fail earlier than expected. The only way to get the right HVAC system to match the home is to carry out a load calculation.
A load calculation is a complex formula that measures various criteria in the home, including square footage, local weather conditions, insulation levels, home orientation, nearby sources of shadow (trees, buildings, etc.), the number of windows, and more. All of these factors play a key role in the heating and cooling of your home. There are free tools that you can access online to carry out a load calculation for you, but they are purely based on the square footage, and the other factors are ignored. It is essential to get a professional HVAC specialist to carry out the load calculation for you. Then they can advise you on the ideal equipment to heat and cool your home efficiently.
- Regular Preventative HVAC Maintenance
We’ve already touched on this point, but it is essential, and it bears repeating. A heating and cooling system has to work hard to keep your indoor spaces comfortable all year round. They don’t really get much of a break, and any complex system that has to work that hard constantly will eventually fail. When components start to succumb to wear and tear, they cause incremental drops in performance and energy efficiency. They also increase the likelihood of a major failure in the future, and this is why regular maintenance is important. An HVAC system represents a major investment, and it makes good sense to protect it and get the most out of it. A local HVAC specialist can check, clean, and lubricate the components in your system to ensure that it is working as efficiently as possible. If there is a potential problem, they can advise you on the best course of action.
- Sealing and Insulating
When you seal your doors and windows correctly and add adequate levels of insulation, you can significantly boost the energy efficiency in your home. The exterior of your home is known in the industry as the “shell” and insulating this shell may save you as much as 20% on your home heating and cooling costs. This also reduces the wear and tear on your HVAC system because it will not need to work as hard. Another great thing about insulation is that it is passive in nature. Once you’ve paid for the insulation and installed it correctly, it will simply work without any need for human intervention and external energy sources.
- Upgrade the Thermostat
Upgrading to a smart thermostat is a great investment. It is possible to have direct control remotely over your heating and cooling equipment using a handy app on your favorite mobile device. This allows the user to make changes in real time and monitor the system. Adjustments can be made to boost energy efficiency, and your home will always be at your optimal temperature when you return.
If you’re interested in optimizing your energy efficiency and regular maintenance for your HVAC system, contact your local heating and cooling specialist today.