According to the EPA’s ENERGY STAR program, the average household spends over $2,000 on energy bills every year with nearly half going towards heating and cooling costs. Making smart decisions about your home’s HVAC system can help you cut energy costs and improve your overall comfort at home.
Choose a High-Efficiency System
If your home’s HVAC system is more than ten years old or not working correctly, consider replacing your equipment with a new high-efficiency unit to cut energy costs. The SEER rating is the key to choosing the most efficient HVAC system. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient the system.
Most high-efficiency systems have an important feature called “capacity modulation.” This feature provides lower energy consumption, improved humidity control, better air quality and a more comfortable living environment.
Be sure to hire an HVAC contractor to size the equipment for your home. Installing the right sized equipment is essential for system performance and indoor comfort. Don’t assume that your old equipment was optimally sized.
Larger systems will not always perform better. A system that is too large will frequently cycle on and off, shortening the life of the equipment. Also, an oversized system may not dehumidify properly, leaving your home cold but not comfortable.
High-efficiency air conditioning systems typically have large outdoor condensing units. This feature helps improve energy efficiency and lower energy costs. Another component that you don’t see is the indoor evaporator coil and blower, which cools the air and circulates it to all rooms in your house.
Most homeowners consider the blower motor to be part of the furnace. But it serves an essential function of the air conditioning system as well. Replacing the blower motor will help ensure that the new air conditioner performs at its rated efficiency level. It will also noticeably improve home comfort during all seasons.
Reset Your Thermostat
Another way to save money on your heating and cooling bills is by resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or away from home. You can do this without sacrificing comfort by installing a programmable or Wi-Fi thermostat.
If you have a consistent schedule, you can predetermine the times you turn on the heating or cooling by using a programmable thermostat. If you would like to monitor and change the temperature in your home remotely from your smartphone, a Wi-Fi enabled thermostat might be the way to go. Either way, controlling the temperature in your home is vital to reducing your heating and cooling costs.
Ask about Rebates and Incentives
While these options offer homeowners terrific energy savings, there are also many rebates and incentives offered by federal, state or local governments and utility companies. These come in the form of direct rebates, tax credits, or tax reductions and can be significant depending on your location and type of system. Call your contractor to get the details.