Tips Of Heating And Cooling Houses Efficiently

The HVAC is the prime energy hog in a typical household. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), residential and commercial buildings account for 40% of total U.S. energy consumption. But these units given their utility are indispensable. Although you cannot nullify the energy consumed by them you can certainly take some smart decisions to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system. Here are some tips to do so-

• Dirty filers are culprits that restrict the flow of air. As a result the HVAC works harder and longer to provide the cooling or heating you have demanded for. Therefore make sure that you change them at regular intervals. Change the filter after every 3 months. If you have pets in the house or too many occupants, the frequency should increase. A clean filter will keep dust, dirt, allergens and bacteria at bay from the unit. It will prevent these harmful elements to build up on the system and spare you costly maintenance and repair or early system failure.

• Have annual maintenance contract for your HVAC. The technicians will come to your house twice a year ideally to tune it up. They generally time their visit in spring and fall just before two peak seasons (summer and winter) of the year commence. A serviced unit will operate at the best of efficiency and consume less power.

• A programmable thermostat is useful if you don’t stay at home at set periods of time every week. At these times, the thermostat can be programmed to maintain very moderate temperatures. A programmable thermostat can cut down about $180 every year in energy costs.

• Lowering the temperature by 1°C can reduce your annual heating bill by up to 8%. Therefore keep the temperature on the thermostat down to the minimum comfortable level. In cooling seasons make sure your air conditioning doesn't operate below 24°C. It is wastage of money.

• Using de-stratification fans during heating seasons can reduce energy use by 20%. These blow warm air down to ground level where it's needed.

• Use free cooling coils. These use the outside air as a source of cooling for air conditioning systems. The outside air can be used when it is cool enough. This reduces the stress on your A/c.

• Use variable speed drives in your air conditioner. These can vary the output of your air conditioning system to meet your needs throughout the day. This will help you save money on energy costs.

• If your central unit conducts air to the rooms through ducts, monitor your ducts from time to time. Ducts often turn leaky through which almost 29 to 30 % air leaks put. Seal the leakages in unconditioned spaces such as attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. You can use mastic or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the sjoints and connections of ducts. Use a layer of insulation over the ducts to prevent them from becoming too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

• If your HVAC is too old, say almost 10 to 15 years old and generating frequent repair bills it is better to get it replaced. Replace your old heating and cooling equipment with ENERGY STAR qualified equipment. This can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115. Always get your unit installed by a qualified and certified installer. Improper installation can have an impact on utility bills.




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