How can you save more money on your energy bills every month? In a challenging time when everyone to keep more cash in their pockets, it’s important to find opportunities for savings wherever possible. Considering that energy-related expenses make up a slight majority of the average home’s annual budget, it makes sense to start looking at what we often consider a “creature comfort” — heating and cooling. Is it possible to make your HVAC unit more efficient? Yes and no — but there are many other things you can do to make your home more comfortable and your usage more efficient. Let’s explore how.
Should You Invest in a New HVAC System?
It might seem strange to think about replacing your unit just to improve efficiency, but it could prove a cost-effective measure depending on the age of your existing air conditioner. If it is more than ten or fifteen years old, chances are it no longer meets modern standards of efficiency. Opting to explore a replacement to save some money could let you tap into many benefits:
- The latest advances in air conditioning engineering
- Systems that are more reliable and likely to last longer
- Lower HVAC energy bills over time thanks to a more effective and efficient operation
Consider asking an HVAC provider you trust to write an estimate for a replacement while explaining what savings you could see.
Keep Your System Clean with Regular Filter Changes
The filter plays an important role both in safeguarding air quality and in protecting your equipment. However, when filters get dirty, it becomes more difficult for air to pass through into the system and might make it harder to lower your energy bill. As a result, it must work harder and longer, using more energy in the process. Monthly filter changes are the rule of thumb to use, although homes with heavy smokers or many pets may need to adjust the frequency of changes to match their specific needs. Give your AC a fighting chance to be at its most efficient. Alongside filter changes, you should engage an HVAC technician to perform regular maintenance on your unit one to two times a year. If your system begins to shed efficiency, these visits may play an important role in identifying the reason why.
Investigate Adding Better Insulation
Outside of replacing your unit and maintaining it well, there are very few things one can do to improve the actual operational efficiency of the unit itself. However, there are many actions you can take in and around the home to give your AC less work to do daily. For example, you could explore whether it’s time to upgrade your insulation. Older homes especially lack the same kind of insulation found in newer homes, and it could be a cost-effective upgrade.
Use a Programmable or Smart Thermostat
Are you wasting money to cool your home when you don’t need to do so? Even if you’re only leaving home for a few hours, it makes little sense to pay to keep the space as cool as it would be when you’re home. Consider programming a thermostat with settings to correspond to your schedule. For example, a smart thermostat could adjust the temperature down a half hour before you arrive home from work — creating a comfortable space without the need to maintain that temperature all day long. You can let the house warm during the hottest hours of the day, then use an efficient AC to cool it when exterior temperatures drop.
Try Using Fans in Rooms to Improve Air Circulation
The use of ceiling fans or floor-based oscillating fans can reduce the amount you need to rely on your air conditioner. By keeping the air circulating and preventing hot air from accumulating, you can keep the thermostat at a higher setting without sacrificing comfort. When the air conditioner does turn on, the fans will keep the cooler air moving throughout the room. When you consider the cost of a fan and the small amount of power it needs to run versus the large demands of your AC, the benefits become clear.
Lower Your Energy Bill with an HVAC Contractor You Can Trust
Ultimately, there are many ways you could go about saving energy. We’ve only covered a few of those methods here, focusing on those most likely to have the biggest impact on your bottom line. However, there is always more you can do to improve the cost-effectiveness of your HVAC in Santa Rosa. It starts by connecting with a trusted provider of heating and cooling service, then having a conversation about your home, its energy needs, and your current equipment. If your bills only seem to climb month after month, it’s time to speak to a technician to get to the root of the issue — and to restore your HVAC to efficiency