Energy-Efficient Heating and Cooling
Around half of the energy used in homes is heating and cooling related. The amount of energy you use can vary between homes based on the type of heating and cooling systems, the size of the home, the amount of use/resident preferences, and where the home is located. There are several maintenance and renovation tips for heating and cooling in an energy-efficient manner:
Perform regular maintenance: Your heating and cooling systems need regular maintenance to run properly and be energy efficient. The specifics for what you need to do will fluctuate between heating and cooling systems. However, you will still need to clean condenser coils, replace air or oil filters, remove any brush/debris, lubricate motors/bearings, clear out ducts, and test water temperature/pressure on a regular basis.
Upgrade to programmable thermostats: Programmable smart thermostats can help save you money by reducing energy usage. Smart thermostats track your settings to optimize your heating and cooling most efficiently. They also provide you with data that can help point you in the right direction for additional savings.
Install or utilize ceiling fans: Ceiling fans can be a great tool for giving your AC or heating unit some help and saving on energy — but you need to do it correctly. During the colder months, ceiling fans should rotate clockwise to pull cool air up. During warmer months, set fans to rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down.
Open windows overnight: If you are in an area where it cools off at night, open the windows to let fresh, cool air into the home. This will help improve air quality and reduce energy usage. You can also use a fan to help pull air from outside into the home.
Insulate: You can reduce the strain on your heating systems and the amount of energy used to maintain temperature by using insulation. Adding the proper amount, in the right places, with the right type can make a world of difference.
Seal ducts: If your ducts aren’t sealed properly, air can get in and out of the home, and this will reduce energy efficiency. Be sure to seal all ducts and check them from time to time.
Upgrade your system: Outdated heating and cooling systems are often less efficient than newer ones. If your system is 10 to 15 years old and you notice that your energy bill is going up, or you can’t maintain a temperature; it may be time to upgrade to a newer, more energy-efficient system.
Choose the right system: You want to be sure to pick heating and cooling systems that are appropriate for where you live, the size of your house, and your temperature preferences. Some houses can get through an entire summer just opening windows or using a window unit to keep things cool. Other houses may need more help keeping a comfortable temperature.
You also need to be smart about heating and cooling your home. Create good heating and cooling habits like using shades/curtains to block out the sunlight on hot days, turning off portable units when there’s no one in the room, and setting the thermostat when you are away from home or sleeping.