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As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling. Making smart decisions about your home’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills and your comfort. These tips will help you increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Change Your Air Filter Regularly

Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At minimum, change the filter every 3 months. A dirty filter will slow down airflow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool, which equals wasted energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which can lead to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

Tune Up Your HVAC Equipment Yearly

Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.

Install A Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings,

Seal Your Heating And Cooling Ducts

Ducts that move air to and from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent — and sometimes much more.

Focus on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage first. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap them in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter.

Consider Installing A High-Efficient Heating And Cooling System

If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, have it evaluated by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that is more efficient.

Replacing your old heating and cooling equipment with new, energy-efficient models is a great start. But to make sure that you get the best performance, the new equipment must be properly installed. In fact, improper installation can reduce system efficiency by up to 30%, cost you more on your utility bills, and possibly shorten the equipment’s life.

Check Return Air Vents

Air return to the furnace is just as important as the air the system puts out. Make sure that there are no obstructions (furniture, drapes etc.) covering the vents. Vent blockage can cause a loss of efficiency and additional strain on your system.

Cooling FAQ's

How long does a furnace last?

With proper maintenance some furnaces will last up to 20 years but most have a life span of around 15 years. It is also a good rule of thumb to change out your thermostat at the same time.

Is it ok to close off vents in my house?

Most ductwork is designed to supply heating and cooling to all rooms in your home. Based on the size of the system closing too many vents can cause air to build up at your blower motor, resulting in a strain on the system and efficiency.

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