Routinely having your HVAC system cleaned and tuned up could boost its performance and help reduce your costs because an HVAC system that’s properly maintained can use considerably less energy than one that is not. But what else could you do? Here are more manageable steps you can take to improve your Southern California home’s energy efficiency.
- Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Add caulk or weatherstripping wherever you notice leaks.
- Insulate your walls and attic. You might equate insulation with keeping your house warm during the winter, but it also makes a difference in the summer. When it’s hot outside, heat is continually seeking cooler places—like your home. Be sure you have enough insulation to keep the heat from shifting through your attic and walls and decreasing your home comfort.
- Have your ducts cleaned. Clean ducts make it easier for air to flow through your home, which makes your air conditioner’s job simpler.
- While you’re at it, make sure your ducts are properly sealed to avoid air leaks and insulate them if needed. If they are leaking, that means you are losing valuable heated or cooled air. Properly sealing and insulating ducts is even more important if they are situated in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned area.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible during the summer. To help possibly keep your cooling bill smaller, keep the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures as little as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% a year on heating and cooling by easily turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual setting for 8 hours a day. If you utilize a ceiling fan in conjunction with your air conditioner, you can raise your thermostat setting by about 4°F without negatively disturbing your comfort.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Sure, thermostats can be adjusted physically, but programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simpler. You can automatically regulate your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will return to normal before you get home or wake up.
- If you decide not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a colder-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. Your house won’t cool down any faster and will only cost you additional money in energy.
- Don’t place lamps, TV sets or other heat-generating appliances by your thermostat. This practice can cause your air conditioner to run longer than needed because your thermostat senses heat from these appliances and determines your home needs cooled.
- Use your windows. If it’s cooler at night, turn off your AC and open the windows. Shut the windows and your curtains or blinds in the morning to trap the cooler air and to hinder heat gain through the windows.
- Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not meeting with your home-comfort needs, call Econo Air for a review. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can lower your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov.
If you’ve got some questions about how to increase your home’s energy efficiency, think it could be time for more energy-efficient equipment or simply want to arrange a regular maintenance appointment, call Econo Air at 714-408-2202 and our experts will help. If it’s simpler, schedule your appointment online using our contact form.