Your home’s HVAC unit has worked all summer long battling the brutal Virginia heat and humidity. Now, as we move into fall, it’s a great time to show it some love. A well-maintained heating and cooling system will not only keep you comfortable in the coming winter months, but when it runs more efficiently, it’ll save you money.
It’s easy to get caught up with the busyness of this time of year — trying to get back into the post-summer routine — but it’s important to set some time aside for home maintenance. It might not be how you want to spend your Sunday afternoon, but focusing on preventive measures twice a year can help things keep running smoothly. Ready to get started? Here are five ways to improve your HVAC system’s efficiency this fall!
Get a Home Energy Audit
A home energy audit or assessment is a great first step towards ensuring that your HVAC unit is running efficiently. During the evaluation, the goal is to determine how effectively your existing equipment heats and cools your home.
The technician will perform a variety of tests to measure how well your HVAC system is running, and then make recommendations for what you can do to improve performance. Identifying and addressing potential issues can help prevent costly repairs and breakdowns in the future.
Newer HVAC systems are designed to be more efficient, but you may not be ready to make that kind of investment right now. If your existing unit still works and is well-maintained, but uses a lot of energy and/or needs regular repairs, you want to consider retrofitting.
According to The Department of Energy, you can save between 20-50% by tuning up and upgrading your heating and cooling system. Adding or replacing parts can help you delay a total replacement, while making your home more efficient and comfortable in the meantime.
Change Your Air Filter
We say it all the time, but changing your air filter is one of the easiest, least expensive ways to improve your HVAC system’s overall efficiency. Over time, filters get clogged by dust, allergens, and other pollutants floating in the air, which makes it more difficult for air to pass through.
When your heating and cooling unit has to work harder, your energy costs will skyrocket. To extend the benefits of a fresh air filter, do a deep cleaning throughout your home, clear debris from around your outdoor condenser unit, and keep items from blocking registers.
Imagine this — it’s a chilly Saturday morning, so you decide to turn up the heat to warm up your home. After breakfast, you decide to go out for the day, leaving your thermostat on that higher setting for hours. With no one home all day, heating an empty home is just wasting energy.
A programmable thermostat allows you to create settings based on your preferences. Find your ideal comfort level, and your HVAC unit will automatically adjust to that temperature. You can even set it so that it won’t be working as hard when you’re not at home.
Power Down Electronics
You’d be amazed by how much small appliances and electronics can impact the energy use inside of your home. Even when not in use, televisions, computers, and other machinery generate heat when they are plugged in, making your HVAC work harder to regulate the temperature.
Unplugging or powering down electronics when they’re not needed will save you money on your utility bill and keep things comfortable inside your home. It’s a very easy change to implement, but many people overlook it!
Ask a Professional
Looking for guidance on how to make your home even more efficient this fall? Talking to a professional can help point you in the right direction. When your home feels comfortable and your energy costs drop, it will be well worth the effort.
W.G. Speeks has more than 75 years of experience helping homeowners in the Greater Richmond Region prepare for the fall and winter months. We may even have suggestions you’ve never thought of before! We offer a no-risk, free consultation with our team of NATE-certified technicians. Give us a call today — we’re here to help!