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Tips for Improving Residential HVAC Efficiency

Your HVAC system is the workhorse behind the comfortable year-round temperatures in your home....
a dining room with a table and chairs

Your HVAC system is the workhorse behind the comfortable year-round temperatures in your home. With each changing season, your heating and cooling system works to combat the outside air and maintain your indoor temperatures. The biggest concern that most homeowners have with their HVAC system is efficiency. You want your system to deliver comfortable temperatures while using less energy. Considering that heating and cooling systems can account for half of the monthly energy costs, this is a valid concern. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can improve your HVAC efficiency.

Keep up with routine maintenance.


One of the keys to improving residential HVAC efficiency is regular maintenance service. Like having a tune-up done on your car, regular HVAC service can ensure that your system runs efficiently. Most experts recommend that you service your air conditioning equipment in the spring and have your heating system checked out in the fall. An HVAC technician will inspect, clean, and tune-up your equipment so that it runs at peak efficiency. Additionally, regular maintenance will address any small mechanical issues that could slow your system down.

Change your air filters.

Most homeowners know that changing the air filters regularly is essential for HVAC performance. However, many may not realize the key role that this plays in improving system efficiency. Your air filter catches dirt, dust, pollen, and other airborne particles and prevents them from circulating through your ventilation. Over time, these pollutants can block the filter and prevent air from flowing through properly. When this happens, your system will have to work harder to push clean air through your home. It is essential to check and change your air filters regularly to help improve efficiency and indoor air quality.

Install a programmable thermostat.


Older thermostats interfere with the energy efficiency of your system by allowing the heating and cooling to run for extended periods. A programmable thermostat can increase your home’s efficiency by running the HVAC system only when necessary. Programmable devices allow you to set when you will be away or asleep, and your HVAC system won’t work as hard during those times. Smart thermostats can go a step further by learning your household’s behaviors and adjusting the HVAC accordingly. When your HVAC runs on a schedule, you will notice lower energy bills and increased efficiency.

Check your ductwork.

The ductwork in your home is the vehicle for your heating and air conditioning. The ducts move the air from your system and deliver it through the vents in your home. However, as your ductwork ages, it might develop cracks and holes that allow air to leak out. Leaky ducts can reduce the airflow in your home and cause your system to work harder to maintain temperatures. Fortunately, a professional HVAC technician can repair many of the gaps, cracks, and holes.

Aside from checking for leaky ducts, it is also a good idea to have your ducts cleaned regularly. It is estimated that your ductwork can accumulate several pounds of dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris throughout the year. If not removed, your ducts can become clogged and prevent airflow. Dirty air ducts can lead to significant system inefficiencies.

Consider your HVAC system age.


Most HVAC systems should last around 20 years. Even with regular maintenance, your system will age and slowly become less energy-efficient. As with most things, age can take a toll on the health of your HVAC system. If you notice that your system is struggling to heat or cool your home, you may consider the possibility of replacement equipment. While this will be a significant investment, a new energy-efficient system could save you money in the long run.

HVAC efficiency can impact your energy bills and indoor temperatures. With regular service and care for your HVAC equipment, you can reduce inefficiencies and ensure that your system delivers consistent air all year long.

Charlotte is a stylist, graphic designer, and art director at Mitzi’s Cafe. Based in Los Angeles, you can typically find her grabbing brunch with friends or reading a book on the beach.
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