Temps are rising, sun is shining and the layers needed to brave the outdoors are getting lighter and lighter. Spring is here and Earth Day is right around the corner, so before you go cranking the AC, we’ve rounded up 7 tips to be more energy efficient from top HVAC specialists. Ben of Fresh Air Flow and Anthony of Anthony Mechanical Heating Cooling And Appliance gave us their best tips to keep costs low and be greener this spring and summer.
1. Air seal your home
Sealing cracks, gaps and leaks, as well as ensuring your home is properly insulated can save big on your cooling costs. Check the caulking and weather stripping around your windows and fill any gaps you find to keep cool air from escaping.
2. For a more long term solution, upgrade your windows
The right windows can trap in cool air during the summer and hot air in the winter. Replacing old, drafty windows will be a more expensive project but it gives you long-term energy savings for years. You should expect to pay up to $700 a window, but should also expect to save big, up to $500 a year, on your energy bills. Other benefits to double-paned, energy-efficient windows? They are excellent at reducing noise pollution!
3. Schedule frequent visits from your HVAC specialists
Ensuring that air ducts and filters are being cleaned regularly will keep your home as efficient as possible. Have a maintenance plan with a service provider in your area with routine visits to prevent more significant repair costs down the line. Search Yelp to find a HVAC specialist nearby.
4. Make sure outdoor units are cleared of bushes, branches and leaves
Be sure to trim bushes and trees so they are not touching your outdoor AC units and if possible, don’t install one in or around your garden. Wash it with water often and call a pro to do an outdoor coil cleaning. When those coils are filled with dirt or pollen, they will lose efficiency. By clearing those bushes and branches, you are also preventing potential knicks and punctures to those coils.
5. Are you renting? Change the filter on your furnace or AC unit often
Just because you are renting doesn’t mean you are off the hook! A clogged filter means your unit is working harder than it has to, increasing your energy costs. Cleaning or changing your filter is simple, cheap and can fix 90% of problems. You can find a new filter at any hardware store.
6. Don’t crank up the AC to get comfortable faster
Avoid setting your thermostat at a colder setting than normal when you first turn on your air conditioner. It will not cool your home any faster and could result in excessive cooling and unnecessary expense.
7. Upgrade to better equipment
This requires a big upfront cost, anywhere from $6k-$15k, but it comes with the potential to save hundreds every month, especially during summer! Customers that do make the upgrade can expect to recoup the investment in about 5 years. There are usually 3 tiers: good, better & best. That lowest tier will still be energy efficient but obviously won’t be as efficient as the highest tier. The life expectancy is about 20-25 years for new equipment, so this is a great option for those in their forever homes!
There you have it! Everyday habits that don’t cost a thing, simple and inexpensive actions you can take to keep energy costs affordable and investments that pay off big long term.