Most homeowners have a general expectation for heating costs during the winter. However, without proper HVAC maintenance and home sealing techniques, along with a few other efficiency checks, you could find yourself opening a heating bill this winter that you weren’t expecting. To avoid any surprises, use these tips to get the biggest energy savings.
1. A home with an effectively sealed envelope, which consists of the home’s outer walls and windows, saves energy. Using a simple caulk to seal windows and doors, leaks around electrical outlets and switches, plumbing and baseboards, and using weather stripping around doors ensures efficiency.
2. One of the most critical areas to insulate properly is the attic. An unheated attic space can suck up a lot of energy. To check if your attic has enough insulation, a simple visual inspection will reveal insulation that extends beyond the floor and ceiling beams.
Ductwork that snakes from the furnace should also include insulation. Without insulation, energy is lost before it even reaches any rooms. Experts estimate that 20 percent of lost energy is attributed to ductwork, resulting in a 50 percent reduction in energy efficiency.
3. Regularly changing air filters is a simple, inexpensive way to maintain efficiency. Once a filter becomes clogged with the dirt and dust it’s designed to filter out, the rate at which it screens additional dirt declines, and your furnace has to work harder. Monthly changes ensure energy savings.
4. Another inexpensive tip is to leave all inside doors ajar so that heat can circulate. Also, be sure that duct registers are unblocked. Furniture or other items that obstruct registers reduces the force of air.
5. Regular maintenance performed by an HVAC contractor is probably the most significant thing you can do to make sure your equipment and home are operating at their peak for maximum energy savings.
To avoid high energy bills this winter: seal and insulate, change air filters, allow air circulation and schedule regular maintenance. Every month, you’ll be glad these proactive steps got you the ultimate in energy savings.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).