HVAC operational costs make up a large portion of the power bill for most American families. In fact, according to information published by the United States Department of Energy (DOE), the cost to heat and cool the average home today accounts for as much as 48 percent of the household's total annual energy usage. If you are increasingly nervous about opening your power bill each month due to the rising costs of keeping the interior at a comfortable temperature for your family, these frugal tips can help!
Cure performance issues
The performance of home heating and air conditioning components can be heavily influenced by several factors found in the average home, including its design and any problems areas or conditions found within. Some possible problems to be aware of include:
- excessive humidity in the home, possibly due to poor ventilation, roof leaks, or plumbing problems
- damaged or inadequate ducting of the HVAC system to all parts of the home
- design changes that negatively affect the movement of conditioned air to all or part of the home
While all of these issues should be addressed with permanent solutions, addressing them temporarily can be as simple as making needed repairs, using a dehumidifier, or installing ceiling fans to help redirect airflow.
Keep the interior components clean
The HVAC industry, along with power and gas suppliers, often publish information reminding homeowners of the importance of frequent filter changes. When the filters become clogged with dust and dirt, the heating and cooling equipment must work much harder to match the home's interior temperature to the thermostat setting. This causes additional wear on the moving parts and components of the HVAC system and can shorten the life span or result in added maintenance costs. A furnace or air conditioning system that is forced to work harder or longer than it should will also use significantly more fuel or electricity each month.
During periods of heavy usage, such as when outside temperatures are unseasonably hot or cold, the filter may need to be changed even more frequently than suggested by the manufacturer. Homeowners who struggle to remember to change their HVAC filter regularly can try setting a reminder on their phone to prompt them. It can also be helpful to consider subscribing to a filter home delivery service that ships a new filter out automatically as often as desired.
Maintain outdoor components
Another situation that can result in increased maintenance bills and energy usage is when the exterior components of the home air conditioning system are not properly maintained. The condenser unit consists of fins and an interior fan that work to move air through the fins to help with the condensing process needed for cooling.
Dust, dirt, insects, and rodent droppings or nesting materials can clog up the fins and restrict air intake, making the system work much harder than it otherwise would. Vacuuming the fins gently with a soft brush attachment or having the unit professionally serviced and cleaned each year can help it work more efficiently.
Opt for an upgrade
When the power or fuel necessary for the operation of your HVAC is consistently high, even after using solutions like those above, opting to upgrade to a higher efficiency system can be the wisest approach. The amount you may save each month on heating fuel or electricity can often help offset the cost of replacing the old system.
To learn more about lowering your heating and cooling bills or to get information and cost comparisons for replacing your current HVAC system, contact an HVAC contractor, such as AC Service Today, in your area. They will be able to help you choose the best solution for the climate where you live and your home.