These Tips Can Help Save Energy
How do I lower my electric bill? That’s one of the most frequently asked questions our technicians hear, and for good reason. Heating and cooling costs represent a significant portion of the monthly budget, both for homeowners and businesses. Any improvements or upgrades we can make in our HVAC systems could produce hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in savings down the road.
Today, we’ll explore ways that we can save on everyday heating and cooling costs at home. Afterwards, you should be able to take these tips and develop your own plan for improved energy efficiency. Let’s dive in!
How Can We Save Energy at Home?
While other systems and appliances in your home consume energy, heating and cooling costs certain account for the largest portion of your utility expenses. In general, homeowners take one of two avenues towards saving energy. Either they completely replace their current HVAC system, or they work to improve it.
Both paths lead to significant efficiency improvements, but let’s start with the first.
How Much Electricity Does an HVAC System Use?
The amount varies based on your particular model (and its condition). On average central air conditioning units consume 3 to 5 kilowatts per hour. Of course, summertime will likely force you to run your system for up to 9 hours a day. That means you’ll consume up to 45,000 watts of electricity per day. Use your personal company’s price per kWh to calculate your maximum cost per year.
Electric furnaces consume much more power per hour, but they only need to run around two hours a day in temperate environments. That’s 36,000 watts, or 3.6 kWh of electricity. Gas furnaces, of course, will consume less electricity.
What is the Most Efficient HVAC System?
Most centralized systems have high efficiency versions that reduce wasted energy. In general however, the many look to heat pumps as the most efficient HVAC systems. This reputation stems from two key factors: the dual heating and cooling function of the system, and the pumps design. Rather than generating heat inside the unit, a heat pump siphons heat from the surrounding air.
Heat pumps may also come in room-by-room versions, such as mini split systems. These heating and cooling appliances can be mounted on the wall or ceiling, though some prefer to have them installed behind concealed vents. Unlike central units, they can operate without the need of duct lines, which all to often leak air and waste energy.
How Can I Improve My HVAC System?
Not every problem requires a complete system replacement. In fact, most prudent homeowners simply perform consistent maintenance to keep their system functioning as designed. Not only does this guarantee better energy savings for your home, it also extends the life of your HVAC appliances.
Reducing Power Usage
How Can I Reduce My HVAC Power Consumption?
Maintenance projects fall into three crucial categories: cleaning, repair, and part replacement. While there are numerous ways to keep your system in good health and maximum efficiency, these maintenance tasks offer the most lucrative results.
Ways to Save on Heating and Cooling Costs
- Clean/replace your filters regularly
- Make sure AC coils remain clean
- Repair and seal any leaky air ducts
- Replace failing parts quickly
- Install a smart thermostat to regulate HVAC usage
- Install an ECM fan to reduce startup energy waste
- Turn up the temperature while you’re away from home
When your system works harder, it consumes more electricity. Dirt and dust-coated parts (especially coils) prevent your system from releasing and absorbing heat correctly, forcing your unit to run for longer periods. Keeping your system clean and the filters refreshed allows air to flow without hindrance.
How Do I Find a Leak in My HVAC Ducts?
According to the US Department of Energy, “duct losses can account for more than 30% of energy consumption for space conditioning, especially if the ducts are in an unconditioned space such as an attic.” Imagine if you could cut out 30% of your HVAC system’s energy use! All it takes is a little work.
Turn on your heating or cooling system and feel along the sides of your duct lines. Can you feel air slipping out anywhere? That means your ducts are losing air and causing your HVAC unit to run longer. If you find significant holes in your lines, contact a duct sealing and repair service to fix them for you.
How Can We Conserve Energy in Our Daily Life?
There is one simple fact that will determine how much energy your HVAC system consumes. The longer your appliances run, the more energy they use. That may sound like an oversimplification, but there are numerous factors that can force your HVAC system to overwork itself. These include:
- Leaving the system running when the house is empty.
- Running the heater or AC with a clogged filter
- Running appliances with leaky ducts
- Using a broken thermostat
- And many more
Take care to replace broken or dying parts as soon as you notice a change in your system’s behavior. Also, heavily consider installing a smart thermostat (such as a Nest product), which works to cut down on wasted run times.
Schedule Your Duct Sealing Today!
Do leaky ducts or worn down parts have your HVAC system working overtime? If so, give our technicians at A 100% Guarantee Heating and AC a call to schedule repairs! Our highly-rated team works hard to lower your heating and cooling costs in Vacaville, CA. To learn more, call us at 707-689-5128!