If you're like most homeowners in Opelika, Alabama, you're concerned about running your HVAC system at peak performance. Improving HVAC efficiency is a straightforward process, but it does require you to take certain steps such as limiting your system use and changing the filters regularly. Here are just a few things you can do to keep your system running efficiently so you enjoy maximum comfort without breaking your utility budget.
Invest in a High-Efficiency HVAC Unit
There's no substitute for buying an efficient HVAC unit from the get-go. If your system is already 10 or 15 years old, it's time to consider replacing it. A new HVAC unit does cost a lot of money up front, but if you can fit the investment into your household budget, you will enjoy long-term savings in reduced maintenance and energy costs.
Purchasing a more efficient ENERGY STAR-rated system can save you hundreds of dollars annually, so just think how quickly the unit will pay for itself.
Change the Air Filters
Clogged air filters are among the leading causes of HVAC inefficiency. The good news is that changing the filters is a task you can perform by yourself without the need to schedule an HVAC maintenance service.
Locate the air filters on your HVAC unit as well as the filters located in vents throughout the home. At most, you should change your filters once every three months and check them monthly for any signs of clogs. Homes with pets tend to experience clogged filters more quickly, requiring monthly replacements. Getting into the habit of changing your air filters will make your HVAC system operate at maximum efficiency and even prolong its lifespan.
Use a Programmable Thermostat
Limiting how much you use your HVAC system is a good way to save on energy bills, but fiddling with the thermostat isn't the best option. Having a programmable or smart thermostat allows you to schedule certain times when the system runs at more efficient levels.
For example, during the warmer months, you can program your thermostat to increase the temperature by a few degrees from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays while you're at work. You don't need the extra conditioning when no one is home, so you can give your HVAC unit and your wallet a break.
Experts recommend increasing your home's temperature in the summer and reducing it in the winter by 10 to 15 degrees from your ideal comfort level for at least eight hours per day. Doing so can save up to 15 percent on your annual heating and cooling costs.
Clean Your Air Conditioning Coils
The coils located on your outdoor air conditioning unit are susceptible to dirt and debris, so it's important to keep them clean. That's because the fan in the AC unit pulls in warm air over the coils, which can suck in all that extra dirt.
During the cooling season, inspect your outdoor unit once a week and remove any sticks, leaves, and other debris. You can clean the unit using a vacuum with a soft bristle attachment or a garden hose; just be sure to shut off the system power first.
Keep in mind, however, that while you can perform this basic cleaning task, you should leave the deeper cleaning and repair tasks to the professionals. If you break part of the unit while attempting to clean, you could void the manufacturer's warranty, so err on the safe side.
Check All Registers and Ducts
Since your HVAC unit moves air throughout your home, it needs space for those ducts and registers to breathe. To keep airflow at maximum capacity, you need to keep those areas clear at all times.
Vacuum all registers as soon as you notice dust accumulating. Make sure furniture, curtains, and other items aren't blocking any vents. You should also visibly check the ductwork for signs of gaps or holes that cause leakages. Keeping all vents and ducts clear not only improves HVAC inefficiency but also boosts your home's indoor air quality.
Ensure that your HVAC system is always efficient by scheduling your annual HVAC maintenance with Sensigreen Mechanical. Call us at 334-528-0765 for more information.
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