For decades, heating and cooling systems accounted for more than half of the energy used by the nation’s residential sector. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), however, that share of energy consumption is finally on the decline. Advancements in technology have enabled the HVAC industry to produce high efficiency systems without compromising comfort. Consumers are making home improvements that enhance energy efficiency as well. The result is lower utility bills and environments that feel comfortable in every season. Here are some of the most effective steps that you can take to conserve energy at home.
Schedule a Home Energy Audit
Determining which home improvement will offer you the most bang for your buck is the first step towards conserving energy and lowering your monthly utility bills. A professional home performance evaluation will identify the largest sources of energy waste in your home and recommend ways to address them. The audit begins with a room-by-room inspection of your home. Factors like your home’s construction, layout and design are taken into consideration as well as your household’s unique heating and cooling needs. HVAC system and home appliance energy use is also evaluated to give auditors a clear picture of your home’s overall energy consumption.
Energy auditors use specialized equipment like blower doors to determine where your house is losing energy. A blower door is a large fan that is placed within the frame of an exterior door. The fan pulls air from your home and blows it outside, lowering the indoor air pressure. The technician can then use an infrared camera to locate leaks within your building’s envelope. Escaping air increases your home’s heating and cooling load and forces your HVAC systems to run longer to keep you comfortable. Suggested remedial steps can include adding insulation to your attic, weather-stripping windows or sealing up gaps around utility conduits.
Simple Strategies and Tips
Many energy-saving solutions require a minimal investment of your time and money. Here are seven projects and products proven to reduce household energy consumption:
- Programmable thermostats allow you to preset your home’s temperature according to your schedule, reducing energy usage when you’re away from home with no loss in comfort.
- Ensuring that your thermostat and air vents aren’t blocked by furnishings, carpeting and window treatments helps avoid energy waste.
- Changing or replacing dirty air filters not only lets your HVAC systems run less frequently but improves your indoor air quality as well.
- Using ceiling fans can reduce the need for air conditioning in the summer and help distribute heated air throughout your living spaces in the winter as well.
- Providing shade for your outdoor air conditioner unit helps the equipment expel the heated air that it pulls from your home more efficiently.
- Keeping a four-foot clearance around outdoor AC equipment facilitates the equipment’s air flow.
- A few well-placed deciduous trees offers cooling shade for your home in the summer while allowing sunlight to filter through in the winter.
Schedule HVAC Maintenance
Heating and cooling equipment requires regular maintenance to keep the systems operating at peak efficiency. Seasonal maintenance services includes checks on all of the system’s operating parts as well as components like ductwork and air filters. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), having your HVAC systems serviced at the start of the heating and cooling seasons is one of the most cost-effective things that you can do to improve performance, extend the equipment’s service life and lower utility bills.
Choose High Efficiency HVAC Products
If your heater or air conditioner is more than ten years old, chances are that you’ll save money with an energy-efficient replacement. Innovative Bryant heating and cooling systems are far more efficient that older, conventional products and can quickly pay for themselves through savings on monthly utility bills. High efficiency models are equipped with features that enhance system performance too. Variable-speed fans and motors allow systems to operate at lower speeds when heating or cooling demands are low. You’ll enjoy an even, consistent delivery of conditioned air while conserving energy.
Serving the Greenville, NC, area J & J Mechanical, Inc. is the company to call when you want to improve the overall energy efficiency of your home. Our goal is to provide products and services that minimize your energy bills while maximizing your comfort.