Saving on the Home Energy Bill | Heating and Air Conditioning
Saving on the home energy bill can be as simple as operating your home’s heating and air conditioning system correctly, and providing routine filter changes and annual professional maintenance. The following are some of the common problems that cause inefficiency, wear and tear on the system and can result in a reduced lifespan.
Setting the thermostat fan control to On (Fan in some systems) causes the blower to run continuously, while the compressor continues to cycle off and on. Moisture removed from the air while the compressor runs, is reintroduced into the home when the fan continues to operate between compressor cycles. The correct fan setting is on AUTO, keeping the humidity and energy cost lower, and comfort higher. When the ducts need to be resealed, the on setting will be even more costly. Cypress’s certified HVAC technicians can check your ductwork during the annual tune-up of your heating and air conditioning.
A dirty air filter restricts the air flow, resulting in reduced efficiency, and can lead to equipment failure and costly repair. Replace the filter with the type recommended by the manufacturer, at the suggested frequency, typically each month. Even if you use filters that are “good” for 3 months, check them monthly and change when required. After all, the main purpose of an air filter is to protect the heating and air conditioning system.
Dirty coils will eventually occur in all systems, especially those whose filters are not changed as recommended, or that utilize cheap fiberglass filters. All of the air drawn through the system goes through the air filter, then through the evaporator coils during the cooling season. For each year that a dirty coil is not professionally cleaned, energy efficiency is reduced by 5%, increasing the electric bill and reducing comfort. All heating and air conditioning systems should be professionally “tuned up” each year, with a system inspection and cleaning of the coils if necessary.
The Thermostat is Set Too Low or High – People often misunderstand the thermostat. For example, if the thermostat is set at 78 degrees and a power outage occurs and the indoor temperature climbs to 92 degrees before the power is restored. A large number of people will lower the thermostat temperature thinking it will cool the house faster. However, the heating and air conditioning system will not run any faster, regardless of the setting, it can only run longer, driving up the cost of energy.
The recommended summer setting is 78 degrees. Set the temperature 2 to 5 degrees higher when you’re away in the day for greater savings. Home cooling costs increase by as much as 12% for each degree setting below 78 degrees.During the winter, the recommended setting is 68 degrees while you are home and awake. By setting the temperature back while you sleep or are away, you can save as much as 1% for each degree the thermostat is set back.
A miscalibrated thermostat can be badly inaccurate, and can elevate the energy bill. For example, your thermostat may be set on 72, but an accurate thermometer may reveal the actual temperature is 64. The thermostat can be accurately calibrated, replaced or you can simply compensate for the difference once the actual temperature is established.
Outdoor air infiltration makes the HVAC system work harder. Cracks around windows and doors, electrical outlets and light switches, around plumbing, ducts, vents and fireplaces are sources of air leaks. Leaks in the duct system affect the system’s performance by pulling in air from the outdoors at a more rapid rate. As a result, the system must run longer to compensate and energy costs rise sharply. In addition, duct air leaks can negatively impact air quality in the home.
Inspect the Duct System for separated duct, or in the case of flex duct, monitor for damaged duct from pets and wildlife. Keep an eye on the ductwork.
Over time, sealant or metal tape can loosen, causing air leaks in the duct system. Resealing the ducts will stop the loss of conditioned air and reduce wear and tear on the heating and air conditioning.
Furthermore, ductwork located in the attic needs adequate insulation to prevent warming of the air supplied.
Don’t block supply registers or air return grills with furniture, drapes, stacked or other items. Not only does this increase operating costs, the inadequate volume of return air to the coil will reduce the heating and air conditioning systems life span.
Don’t block the outdoor condenser, heat pump or package unit with decks, shrubbery, or other objects. To work properly it requires a minimal clearance. The condenser coils also need to be kept clean and receive annual maintenance. Locating the unit on the north side is recommended to prevent it from having to work against the heat of the sun on baking hot summer days. It’s possible to shade it with trees, but remember that the condenser needs plenty of space for adequate ventilation.
Oversized air conditioning systems cool quickly, and as a result don’t run long enough to adequately remove moisture from the air. The result is a cool, damp interior prone to mold. An oversized air conditioner cycles on-and-off frequently wasting energy. An accurately sized heating and air conditioning system for your home will run longer, dry the air better and provide a comfortable home.
When the goal is saving on the home energy bill, contact Cypress Heating and Air Conditioning to receive an energy efficient, accurately sized, and professionally installed heating and air conditioning installation. Our certified HVAC technicians offer the experience and skills to ensure the heating and air conditioning service that you can depend upon. Whether you need repair, maintenance or installation of heating and air conditioning, you can count on us to deliver HVAC services that meet or exceed the industry standards. Your satisfaction is guaranteed. We are a member of the BBB with an A+ rating.