Maximizing Energy Efficiency – What You Can Do Today
What’s the most common misconception about energy efficiency? Many people think it’s the same thing as energy conservation, but the two terms are actually quite different. Energy conservation is all about going without something in order to save energy. Energy efficiency, on the other hand, has nothing to do with self-deprivation. Efficient energy use lets you enjoy the full benefit of today’s modern products while saving energy at the same time. When it comes to your heating and cooling equipment, there are steps that you can take today to maximize system efficiency. The results will not only lower your energy expenses but will enhance your comfort at home too.
Improving Your Home’s Energy Efficiency
Some home improvements allow your heater or air conditioner to expend less energy without compromising your comfort. The trick is to choose projects that will pay for themselves through lower monthly energy bills. Not every improvement is a cost-effective investment. Window replacements, for example, save energy, but it can take years to recover the upfront costs. Effective low-cost improvements include:
- Air Sealing and Attic Insulation. According to an extensive study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), you can expect to cut 20 percent of your heating and cooling costs by sealing air leaks in your home’s exterior and adding insulation to your attic. You can address most leaks with inexpensive caulk and a can of polyurethane spray foam.
- HVAC Air Filters. Replacing your air filter at the first sign of dirt is one of the most effective ways to improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling systems. The EPA reports that a clean air filter can lower an air conditioner’s energy consumption by up to 15 percent.
- Programmable Thermostats. These affordable devices allow you to program your HVAC systems to raise or lower temperatures throughout the day depending on your schedule. Simply by adjusting the temperature while you’re away at work, for instance, you can shave 10 percent off your monthly heating and cooling costs.
- Duct Sealing and Insulation. The EPA estimates that up to 30 percent of the air that circulates through forced-air HVAC systems is lost to leaks. Your HVAC provider can conduct an External Static Pressure (ESP) test on your ductwork to determine if sealing and insulating them will save you money.
Schedule Preventive Maintenance Today
HVAC experts and consumer advocates agree that regular maintenance service is the most economical way to lower your operating costs. An EPA study found that well-maintained systems can reduce energy usage by up to 20 percent. During a maintenance call, each system component is inspected and adjusted to ensure that everything is working at peak efficiency. Reputable HVAC providers offer annual maintenance plans that not only reduce the cost of a single visit but make the service more convenient too. It’s one of the best things you can do today to make your home a more comfortable and energy-efficient place. Contact us at AC by Luquire today for more information.