Fall is officially here, making NOW a perfect time for routine HVAC system maintenance. From falling leaves and debris to temperatures turning cool, ensuring that your HVAC system is functioning properly should absolutely be on your fall homeowner to-do list! Not only will these tips help you get the most out of your heating and cooling system, but they will result in helping to lower energy use and save you money.
1. Keep exterior coil clean.
Cleaning the exterior coil plays a crucial role in keeping your utility costs down. Did you know that 1/100th of an inch of dust buildup can equal up to 10% loss of efficiency, resulting in higher utility costs?
2. Change your air filters.
One of the easiest HVAC recommendations that will keep your HVAC system operating efficiently is changing your air filter. A dirty filter will cause the system to work harder to push air through, putting additional strain on the system itself. Your energy cost increases if your HVAC system is put under continued strain. According to the US Dept of Energy, routinely changing your filter can actually help you save 5% to 15% on your energy costs.
Your family’s health will also appreciate it, especially if any members of the family have allergies or respiratory conditions.
3. Keep your home at recommended temperatures.
HVAC systems are designed for a 95° day or lower and on average are able to cool 20° lower than the exterior temperature (if the temperature is above 95°, systems average 15° lower). The US Department of Energy recommends that the ideal temperature for inside your home is 78° during warm weather months and 68° during the winter months. As a general rule, the smaller the difference is between indoor and outdoor temperature, the less energy your HVAC system will have to use – resulting in a lower electricity bill.
4. Install a programmable thermostat.
Investing in a programmable thermostat allows for completely customized and automated operation of your heating and cooling system settings. For example, turning the heat down when you are out of the home, traveling and sleeping can save you money on your energy bills. Many new models of thermostats have Wi-Fi capabilities and apps, which allows you to turn your AC or heat up and down remotely if need be.
5. Pay attention to condensation.
Utilizing a ceiling fan, turning off heat-producing appliances and keeping your windows shaded are all ways to keep your home comfortable without cranking up the AC. In doing so, you will be keeping energy costs low and limiting the potential for abnormal humidity levels which can cause mildew or condensation on the vents.