As a homeowner, you rely on your HVAC system to provide heating and cooling inside your home year-round. While you need your HVAC system to stay comfortable, you also want to ensure that you take steps to keep your energy bills in check. Fortunately, there are several things that you can do to balance comfort and energy efficiency. You can also follow a few tips to get the most out of your HVAC system.
1. Service Your HVAC System Often
Can you recall the last time you had your HVAC system checked? If not, lack of maintenance could be the reason you’re paying more on your energy bills than usual. Investing in regular maintenance is perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure that it is running efficiently and free of operational issues.
Unmaintained HVAC systems often contain dirty or worn-out components that make it harder for the system to do its job. An overworked system will drive up your energy bills and have a harder time keeping you comfortable. Lack of maintenance can also lead to costly repairs and premature breakdowns, costing you even more money.
2. Invest in a New Thermostat
HVAC thermostats have come a long way over the years. Today, we have access to programmable and smart thermostats that offer a number of money-saving features. A programmable thermostat can make it easy to schedule on and off times for your heating and cooling system. For example, you can set up a schedule that automatically adjusts your system’s settings after you leave for work and kicks back on to ensure that your home is comfortable when you return home.
Other so-called “smart” thermostats take things a step further. Some models can learn your living patterns and adjust the thermostat settings on their own, ensuring that you don’t use your HVAC system when it’s not needed. You can even connect your thermostat to your smartphone so that you can control your HVAC settings from wherever you are. This is convenient if you leave for vacation and realize you left your furnace running at normal temperatures when no one is home.
3. Seal Off Leaks in Your Home
To support your HVAC system, you need to ensure that your home retains as much heat as possible during colder weather and as much cool air as possible during warm weather. Unfortunately, conditioned air can leak out of your home through openings and cracks around your doors or windows. These same cracks can also allow hot and cold air inside your home. When leaks are present, your HVAC system will have to work harder to sustain comfortable temperatures indoors. As a result, your energy consumption and energy bills will increase.
You can fix these leaks yourself using caulk or weatherstripping or reach out to a professional for help. If you are unsure if your home is free of leaks, our technicians can provide a home inspection and complete an energy audit to identify steps you can take to improve your home’s efficiency.
4. Make Smart Use of Your Oven
Another way to support your HVAC system is by limiting the use of your oven or stove during the summer. Baking up a casserole or a loaf of bread on a hot summer day will raise the interior temperature and make your air conditioner work harder to cool your space. Instead, try using your outdoor grill as much as possible and stick to foods that can be cooked on your stovetop or in your microwave.
While using the oven during the height of summer is not the best idea, the opposite is true during the winter. Using your oven often during colder weather can help raise your indoor temperature by a few degrees, so you may be able to turn down the furnace. Of course, your oven shouldn’t be used as a heat source, but it can provide a great way to reduce your reliance on your furnace a bit.
5. Replace Your Old HVAC Unit
Regardless of how well it’s been maintained, all HVAC units will eventually reach the end of their lifespan. While it can vary, a typical HVAC unit will last around 10-15 years. Once your system reaches the 10-year mark, its performance will begin to decline and you will likely experience higher energy bills.
So, if you have an older system in your home and you’re looking for ways to cut back on your energy use, consider investing in a modern, energy-efficient unit. While there is a significant upfront cost, newer HVAC systems can help you get back your investment through lower monthly energy bills.
Schedule Your HVAC Services Today!
If you want to learn more about how to start lowering your monthly utility bills, our team at IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. can help. We provide a full range of heating and cooling services in Arlington Heights, IL and the surrounding area. This includes maintenance, repairs, and installations. Our technicians also provide indoor air quality services. Contact IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. today to schedule an appointment.