According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), cooling and heating costs account for around 50 percent of home energy expenses.
The secret to keeping a home environment comfortable throughout the year without sending energy bills skyrocketing lies in ensuring that home HVAC systems operate at peak energy efficiency.
The less fuel that an HVAC system needs to expend, the lower the monthly energy bill will be. Installing highly efficient cooling and heating products is not the only way to increase energy efficiency. Preventative maintenance, operational enhancements, and a number of home improvement projects can improve efficiency, as well.
A well-insulated home helps keep extreme outdoor temperatures at bay, allowing heating and cooling systems to work more efficiently. In older homes, drafty windows can make HVAC systems work harder to reach ideal temperatures, wasting energy and money, but today’s modern windows are far more energy-efficient than those manufactured just a couple of decades ago.
Double-glazed windows feature two panes of glass with a sealed space in between and many manufacturers replace the sealed air with inert gases like argon or krypton for better insulation. Replacement windows can reduce cooling and heating costs by as much as 25 percent, so they’re usually well worth the investment.
Adding insulation to attics is another affordable way to improve a home’s overall energy efficiency. Attic temperatures can reach as high as 150 degrees on a hot summer day.
According to the Department of Energy (DOE), adequate insulation can reduce attic temperatures by 50 degrees and can reduce heating costs by up to 30 percent.
Cooling and Heating System Operation
HVAC forced-air systems use ducts to deliver conditioned air and remove stale household air; however, up to 30 percent of conditioned air can be lost due to leaky ductwork. Ensuring that ducts are properly sealed and insulated not only increases system efficiency but also helps keep dust and other particulates from entering the home.
Installing a programmable thermostat is one of the most affordable ways to cut energy costs. The thermostats allow homeowners to preset temperatures to adjust automatically to time periods when the household is asleep or away from home, resulting in a reduction of around 10 percent on heating and cooling costs.
Regular Preventative Maintenance
Seasonal maintenance not only extends system longevity, but ensures that HVAC systems operate safely too. Regularly-scheduled maintenance is also the optimum way to diagnose problems before they lead to costly repairs.
By enhancing the system’s energy efficiency, preventative services go a long ways towards decreasing how much is spent on energy bills each month or overhauls in the longer run.
Having energy efficiency for HVAC systems is easy if one takes the right steps. With regular maintenance, insulated windows and spaces, properly sealed air passages, and programmable thermostats, homeowners can ensure that their cooling and heating bills stay low.
Jillian Johnson is a professional marketing content writer who blogs on a variety of topics. Follow her @MissWritey.