Energy-Saving Tips for the New Year
It’s not too late to add a new year’s resolution to your list, especially when fulfilling it can lead to significant savings.
This year, resolve to make your home more energy-efficient. Here’s how.
Request HVAC Maintenance
Preventative maintenance in the spring and fall will ensure your central air unit operates at peak efficiency. During a maintenance inspection, an HVAC pro will check the following:
- Exhaust Outlets
- Electrical Connections and Voltage
- Thermostat Settings
- Fuel Lines and Connections
- Refrigerant Levels
In addition, the tech will lubricate moving parts and make any necessary repairs.
Replace the Air Filters
Clean air filters not only prevent pollutants like dust and pollen from circulating in your home but also allow for smooth airflow. Dirty filters, on the other hand, will obstruct airflow, which will impact your energy bill. Air filter replacements are often covered in a tune-up, but you may want to handle this step yourself because it’s so simple. There are two types to be concerned with:
- Fiberglass filters
- Pleated filters
Fiberglass filters are the cheapest but are inefficient and need replacing after 30 days. Pleated filters are less of an obstacle to airflow than flat filters and can last 90 days.
Also, be sure to check the MERV rating.
Program the Thermostat
If you own a programmable thermostat, then now is the time to take advantage of its capabilities. The Department of Energy says that you can save as much as 10% on heating and cooling costs if, for eight hours a day, you simply set your thermostat back 7 to 10 degrees.
When the home is vacant, lower the thermostat settings rather than completely shutting off the HVAC system. Wi-Fi thermostats offer remote access via your mobile device, allowing you to turn on your system, say, half an hour before you get home from work.
Also, avoid the energy waste that comes with turning the thermostat up really high in winter and low in summer. It does not help you achieve the desired temperature any quicker. On the contrary, it will cause the HVAC system to work longer and unnecessarily.
Every home has cracks and openings, especially around the doors, windows, and the attic, that can let warm air out in winter and warm air in during summer. Seal these up for energy savings. There are several materials to choose from, including:
- Reinforced Foam
You can search for drafts using an infrared sensor.
Add or Upgrade Insulation
Adding layers of insulation or upgrading to something with a higher R-value (level of resistance to heat flow) can save you money and improve your comfort.