Heating and cooling your home is a huge energy drain and during peak months can account for more than 50 percent of your home energy costs. In addition to costing you money, such high-energy usage also leaves a detrimental carbon footprint on the environment. With all of the energy needed to keep your home or office comfortable during sweltering summer days and icy winter nights, can you really go green with your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system? Yes, you can — and there are many options for making your HVAC more energy efficient, which is great for the environment and will make your wallet happy. Here are four tips you can consider.
Install a High-Efficiency Unit: You may find yourself intimidated by the upfront costs associated with replacing your HVAC system with a new high-efficiency system, but take heart, because the unit will pay for itself in just a few years through reduced energy usage. High-efficiency units can drastically cut energy usage by as much as 50 percent. The HVAC pros at Mr. Green can help you select the right unit for your home.
Make Sure Your HVAC Unit is the Right Size for Your Space: When it comes to HVAC, bigger isn’t always better. Your unit should be proportionate to the space it serves. If it is too big or too small, it will run less efficiently, will waste energy and may have a shorter life-span. Ensuring that the unit is the correct size and in the right configuration will enable your unit to run continuously to rather than frequently cycling on and off, which puts unneeded additional wear and tear on your HVAC unit. Having your HVAC running all the time also maximizes dehumidification
Prevent Escaped Air: Unless you’ve properly sealed windows and doors to prevent escaped air, your new top-of-the-line HVAC system will not be nearly as efficient as it could be. A trick to find leaky ducts is to light an incense stick and hold it next to a suspected leak. If the smoke blows sideways, you’ve found the leak. When installing a new HVAC system, take advantage of the opportunity to inspect and if needed replace insulation around doors and window frames. This also may be a good time to replace old windows with energy-efficient ones, helping you save even more in energy costs.
Improve Your Insulation: Dollar for dollar, one of the best investments you can make to improve your home’s energy efficiency is to improve insulation. With proper insulation, your HVAC unit will run more efficiently since your system will not have to work as hard to maintain comfortable temperatures. For materials, you can use everything from newspaper to fiberglass to chemical foams. Bonus tip: if you only have the time and budget to improve the insulation in one area of your home, focus on the attic, where most air escapes.
The best way to ensure your system is leak-free is by getting a professional in for an inspection. Our pros at Mr. Green Plumbing can make sure that all the ducts running throughout your home are properly sealed.
Although heating and cooling is typically the largest and most energy-intensive home-energy expense, homeowners can both lighten their costs and their carbon footprints with the tips we’ve outlined above. Start with one or tackle all four. Your finances – and future generations – will thank you!