Many residents throughout Sacramento and the rest of California are embracing the idea of going green. Some of the benefits include helping the environment, minimizing carbon footprints, improving general health, and lowering energy bills. Although there are numerous ways to create a more environmentally friendly property, one of the major components is keeping up with your home’s systems. Some parts of your home, such as the plumbing, electric, and (in this case) cooling and heating, make a significant difference in your home’s efficiency.
Leading an environmentally responsible lifestyle does not have to be challenging. With the increasing energy costs and with some parts of the world suffering from droughts, fires, and extreme weather conditions, it is important to understand the significance of conserving energy and of safeguarding the environment for future generations. Apart from the world-saving incentives, you can adopt some simple conservation practices to lower your HVAC costs, help the environment, and save money in the long term. Here are some eco-friendly HVAC tips that you can use to make your residence more efficient and to reduce your utility bills.
1. Installing a Smart or Programmable Thermostat
According to statistics, decreasing your indoor temperature in the winter and increasing it in the summer by only 10 to 15 degrees can help you save a maximum of 15% annually on energy costs. You only need to make these drastic temperature changes when you’re leaving home. Nevertheless, it can be challenging to remember to properly adjust your home’s temperature each time you are heading out. However, if you invest in a programmable thermostat, you will ensure that you are continually saving operating and energy costs.
A smart thermostat will help you regulate energy consumption by aligning the off and on cycles of your unit with your schedule to give you more accurate temperature control. For instance, you can set the device to cool down the house shortly before everyone arrives from school and work and to keep it at a higher temperature throughout the day when there’s no one at home. By engaging in these practices, your HVAC system does not run throughout the day as it attempts to cool an empty home.
Smart thermostats also offer a lot when it comes to ease of use, flexibility, and convenience. If you purchase a remote-access or Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat, you can run all your controls from an internet-enabled computer, smartphone, or tablet. Some thermostats offer more value and efficiency by synchronizing multiple machines, including humidifiers.
2. Changing Air Filters Regularly
Air conditioning systems are more than just solutions for regulating your home’s temperature. A good air filter can eliminate dust, outdoor toxins, and debris inside your living space. Depending on how often you utilize your HVAC unit and where you reside, you need to clean or to change the air filters frequently to keep them in excellent working condition. If your air filters are dirty, it’s more challenging for air to go through the HVAC system. This means your unit will have to work twice as hard to keep your home cool in the summer. Typically, you need to replace or to clean your air filters monthly to keep your HVAC running optimally.
3. Inspecting and Sealing Leaking Ducts
If you’ve got a ducted HVAC unit, you need to ensure that it functions at its best. Holes or some ductwork gaps may not look like an issue, but even the smallest damage can considerably reduce your system’s efficiency by forcing it to work harder. According to research, inspecting your ductwork regularly and sealing any gaps can save you between 20% and 30% of your total heating costs. Thankfully, handling leaking ductwork is cost effective and easy. However, you can also consider switching to a ductless system to avoid regular duct repairs.
4. Keeping Your Vents Clear
Many homeowners unintentionally block their air conditioning vents with furniture pieces, which is not a good thing for an HVAC unit. Like a clogged air filter, blocked vents can increase pressure in the ductwork, forcing the HVAC system to work much harder. Make sure the space near and around your vents is clear from any debris or pieces of furniture.
5. Cleaning The Coils
Apart from the air filters, there is a wide range of other components that contribute to your HVAC system’s energy efficiency. For example, keeping the coils of your air conditioning unit clean is one way you can prevent excessive energy usage in your home. You can keep the unit’s coils clean by making sure that you get rid of any debris around the outer part of the HVAC system. However, your unit might need professional cleaning in some instances. In such cases, consider hiring an HVAC expert.
6. Updating Your HVAC System
If your HVAC system is old, think about getting a replacement. Older HVAC systems utilize a particular type of Freon known as R-22. However, this type is slowly getting phased out in the market because of the damage it causes to the ozone layer. There are many new and more energy-efficient units on the market these days. Consider replacing your air conditioner with a green HVAC system to boost its general performance and to reduce your costs. Furthermore, by upgrading to a new HVAC system, you will also be reducing strain and damage to the ozone layer.
7. Investing in Solar Screens and Sealing Air Leaks
Generally, solar screens intercept a maximum of 70% of energy before getting into your house. You can use screens and window films to cut down on the energy required to keep your residence cool. These metalized and transparent sheets usually reflect heat before it is transmitted via the glass. However, it would be best if you shut your windows for these windows films to function well.
It might not sound like a lot, but small gaps and holes throughout your house might be allowing hot air to escape when you’re trying to keep your house warm and comfortable. Using caulk or foam around doorframes, windows, electric wiring, exterior walls, and holes in the walls where piping enters and exits your home can help you seal the cracks.
8. Performing Regular Maintenance of Your HVAC System
It might sound obvious, but many homeowners can be very neglectful, especially regarding the regular maintenance of cooling and heating systems. Overlooking dust, dirt, and debris can ultimately hinder the air conditioning system’s performance and can even cause permanent damages. If you notice insufficient cooling or an unusually warm area or room, it could be a sign of a blocked or clogged vent. You can avoid damage and costly repairs by keeping your residential heating and air conditioning systems in good working condition with routine maintenance by an experienced HVAC contractor.
As we’ve pointed out, you can do your part to help protect the environment by regularly maintaining your HVAC system and by upgrading your unit to the current energy standards. When you do this, you’ll also be padding your wallet due to the considerable energy savings. Implementing the above HVAC eco-friendly tips will make saving energy and preserving the environment easy, fun, and incredibly rewarding.
If you’re looking for professional assistance to help you maintain a cool and eco-friendly home, contact an HVAC professional at Gallagher's Plumbing, Heating and Air Conditioning. Our technicians can handle a wide array of heating and air conditioning problems in the Northern Valley and Greater Sacramento area to help keep your residential property cozy throughout the year. We can handle HVAC installations, repairs, and maintenance as well as provide indoor air quality and plumbing services. Please contact us today for all your AC and heating needs.