A HVAC system that’s taken care of can use fewer resources than one that is not. Regularly having your HVAC system serviced can improve productivity and help save you money in utility costs. Thankfully, there’s even more you can do to boost your house’s energy efficiency. Here are some painless steps you can take to improve your Portland home.
- Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Even small breaches can let heat or cool air escape your house. Add caulk or weatherstripping every place you find leaks.
- Use your windows. If it’s cooler after dark, turn off your AC and open the windows. In the morning, shut the windows and your curtains or blinds to keep the cooler air in and to prevent heat gain through the windows.
- Insulate your walls and attic. Insulation is normally associated with keeping your home comfortable in the winter, but it also helps you out in the warmer season. Heat is constantly looking for cooler spaces—like your rooms. Sufficient insulation keeps heat from passing through your attic and walls.
- Have your ducts cleaned. Air flows easier through your home when your ducts are open. That makes your air conditioner’s job simpler.
- Check to see your ducts are properly sealed to stop air leaks and insulate them if needed. You’re losing valuable heated or cooled air if your ducts have leaks. Correctly sealing and insulating ducts is even more vital if they are in the attic, a vented crawlspace or any other unconditioned space.
- Install a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats make managing your home comfort and efficiency simple. You can automatically change your temperature when you’re away from home or when you’re sleeping while avoiding discomfort because your home’s temperature will get back to normal when needed.
- If you choose not to use a programmable thermostat, avoid setting your thermostat at a lower-than-usual setting when you turn on your air conditioner. It might seem it will cool your home quicker, but the time it takes to cool won’t be affected. You’ll end up costing yourself more in energy.
- Set your thermostat as high as comfortably possible in the summer. To help keep your cooling bill low, make sure the difference between the indoor and outdoor temperatures is as close as possible. According to the Department of Energy, you can save as much as 10% each year on heating and cooling by simply turning your thermostat back 7° to 10°F from its usual setting for eight hours a day. Using a ceiling fan together with your air conditioner can let you raise your thermostat a little more. You can raise your setting by about 4°F without negatively affecting your comfort.
- Limit heat-generating appliances near your thermostat. If you’re leaving lamps, tvs or other heat generating appliances around your thermostat, it can cause your air conditioner to run for an extended time because it senses heat from these appliances and thinks your home needs cooling.
- Invest in new, energy-efficient equipment. If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping up with your home-comfort needs, call Three Rivers Heating & Cooling for an evaluation. It may be time to replace it with ENERGY STAR®-qualified equipment that can cut your annual energy bill by more than $115, according to energystar.gov.
If you’re interested in improving your home’s energy efficiency, call Three Rivers Heating & Cooling at 503-213-4433. Our pros can help you think about solutions, energy-efficient equipment or schedule a regular maintenance appointment. You can also schedule your appointment online using our online scheduler.