You rely on heating, ventilation, and cooling to keep your indoor space comfortable all year round. But heating and cooling can be expensive. Your HVAC system can be responsible for about 40% of your utility bill, but there are steps you can take to lower the energy costs of your HVAC system significantly. From routine maintenance to various DIY tasks, let’s take a look at some energy-saving tips every homeowner should know.
1. Install Smart Thermostats
Maintaining optimum heating and cooling settings cuts down your energy costs by up to 8% on average. Smart thermostats automatically regulate the temperature, or you can control them from your phone and the touch panel to dictate how hot or cold you want your home. Smart thermostats are easy DIY projects that take less than an hour for experienced DIY’ers. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing your smart thermostat. If you’re unsure, you can always give us a call at MasterTech Plumbing and we will take care of the rest.
2. Schedule Regular Maintenance
Even top-of-the-line HVAC systems lose efficiency over time. Lost efficiency means the system will have to work harder to heat and cool your space which means more electricity and higher utility bills. Regular HVAC maintenance from MasterTech Plumbing ensures your HVAC is in good working condition.
Schedule maintenance during spring and fall. You get more savings for hiring an HVAC expert during those off-peak seasons. Regular maintenance checks identify problems early on and avoid long-term repairs, which can be very costly. Consider a monthly maintenance plan to lower overall costs. Maintenance impacts 5%-40% of HVAC-related energy costs.
3. Replace Your Air Filter
Air filters pick up dust and dirt, creating clogs that lead to issues with performance. A dirty filter lowers the HVAC’s efficiency and increases energy costs. Luckily, replacing your filter is an easy DIY job that saves you money on utility fees and maintenance.
Change your filters every 3 months if you have a 1-inch filter, or every 9-12 months if you have a 4-inch filter. If you have pets and kids, consider changing it more frequently. Compare the dimensions of the filters before replacing them with newer ones and follow the instructions on how to replace an HVAC filter.
4. Install a New System
Sometimes the best path forward is to replace the entire heating & cooling system. A new system will be significantly more energy efficient and over time, it will pay for itself.
If you have an HVAC system older than ten years, replacing it with an Energy Star model will save you about $700 per year in utility bills. Aim for units with a Seasonal Energy-Efficiency Ratio (SEER) of 14-18 or an Energy-Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 8. You can double your savings, especially if you double the SEER rating.
Federal law (EPA) requires new units to have at least 14 SEER starting January 1, 2023 for the state of Missouri. Heat Pump systems must have at least 15 SEER.
5. Seal Duct Work
Leaky ductwork lets your conditioned or heated air escape, which means your heating & cooling system puts in a double shift and consumes much more electricity. Use sealing products on your ductwork and pipes to prevent leakage. You will save on energy bills and enjoy a more comfortable environment throughout your entire home.
6. Clean Your System and Its Surroundings
Cleaning debris off your outside unit and keeping weeds and other plant growth away from it will help prevent your system from consuming too much electricity. MasterTech offers a variety of HVAC cleaning services to help keep both your inside and outside units operating as intended.
7. Make Use of Curtains
Curtains and blinds block the summer heat, which improves long-term performance and reduces cooling bills. Conversely, during winter, dress appropriately and make use of curtains and blinds to prevent your home from leaking warm air, resulting in increased heating costs. Insulation is crucial in lowering utility bills when using HVAC systems.
Stay Comfortable While Saving
Lowering your energy costs for an HVAC system transcends installation and regular maintenance. A blend of human input, technology, energy-efficient practices, and proactive maintenance of your HVAC system ensure you reduce your utility bills and improve your system’s efficiency. MasterTech Plumbing helps you become a savings guru through maintenance and installing HVAC systems that lower bills without compromising comfort.