Every time your utility bills come in the mail, you stare in disappointment at the price and wonder what you can do to cut some of those numbers. Fortunately, there are several ways homeowners in Greensboro, North Carolina, can reduce their energy costs. The key to low utility bills comes from adjusting your habits and taking charge of your own HVAC efficiency.
Change Your Air Filter
Anything that restricts your airflow can become an obstacle to your energy efficiency. While the air filter in your HVAC system is great at filtering hazardous particles out of the air and thereby improving your indoor air quality, those filters can also hinder your energy efficiency. When filters are full of dust, dirt, and the other particles they catch, they start restricting the airflow. To reduce the effect of clogged air filters, change your filters about once a month. You’ll free up airflow and reduce strain on the unit.
Install a Ceiling Fan
If you feel like taking on a weekend project, consider installing a ceiling fan. Fans don’t cool the air the way an air conditioner does, but they move air in a way that makes you feel cooler. And as long as you feel cool, that’s all that matters. With a ceiling fan to help maintain comfort, you can take charge of your energy efficiency by turning your thermostat up a few degrees and giving your air conditioner a break. Ceiling fans can also reduce moisture in a room, which allows them to help regulate humidity, another factor in energy efficiency.
Seal Your Home
You spend so much money and your system works so hard to deliver cool air into your living space. The last thing you need is to lose that air to leaks around your home. Whether it’s a result of too little insulation, cracks around your windows, or gaps around your doors, you may be allowing cool air to leave your home and warm air to enter. That warm air will force your system to work harder, which places greater strain on the unit and drastically reduces HVAC efficiency. Fortunately, it isn’t difficult to seal your home.
Look for air leaks around windows, doors, and in unfinished areas of your home, such as your garage or attic. If you don’t see any physical gaps, look for an unusual amount of dust or dirt near the area in question. Even an almost invisible leak will cost you. Seal leaks around your windows with caulk (or if the windows are old and too loose to seal with caulk, replace them), seal door gaps with weatherstripping, and use expanding foam to seal the gaps around where plumbing pipes meet walls in your unfinished areas. Install extra insulation if necessary.
Wait. Cleaning? What does that have to do with your HVAC efficiency? Remember how we mentioned that anything restricting your airflow can reduce efficiency? That even means particles as small as dust and dirt. Make a habit of regularly cleaning your home, especially around your HVAC unit, vents, and heat registers. Also, keep the area around your outdoor compressor unit free of debris and dirt.
Find Other Ways to Stay Cool
Of course, one way to take charge of energy efficiency is to stop relying only on your air conditioning unit to stay cool. The less you push your system, the higher your efficiency will be. Instead of always going to the thermostat, find other ways to stay cool. Avoid using the oven during the day. Keep curtains and blinds closed to block out the harsh sunlight. Drink cold beverages and dress for the heat.
Taking charge of your HVAC efficiency requires adjusting your lifestyle. Start considering how your actions, or the lack of them, affect the efforts of your HVAC system and you’ll be well on your way to higher energy efficiency, which means greater comfort, lower utility costs, and a healthier home. For a professional hand improving your HVAC efficiency, call Air Treatment at 336-790-3206.
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