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How to Make Your HVAC Unit Use Less Energy

Posted by Dan McKee, Guest Columnist

Jul 15, 2015 7:39:07 PM

Saving energy and making your HVAC unit more efficient.

On more than one occasion, you may have thought about the amount of energy that your HVAC (Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning) unit consumes every month, whether out of concern about the environment or the burgeoning utility bill. Either way, you probably wish to reduce the amount of energy consumed by your HVAC, don’t you?

The solution is to make the HVAC unit work better and more efficiently, thereby lowering the overall energy consumption. Here are some ways you can do that:HVAC_system

Thermostat

The first component that needs to be upgraded is your thermostat. In all probability, you are using a manually adjusted thermostat, which means you need to give it constant attention. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat, which allows you to set the temperature in advance for the entire week. This way, you can let the thermostat take care of itself.

Air Filters

Air filters are another area of concern, since they ensure that only air enters the circulation system in your home. They prevent dust and other pollutants or particles from entering through the system. However, over time, the filters get blocked with all the accumulated particles. Test your air filter by flashing light through it. If you see most of the light go through, it is in good shape. If most of the light is failing to pass through, the filter needs to be replaced. As an added bonus, try and learn how to replace the filters yourself, which will save you a lot of money and trouble in the long run.

Coils

The outdoor unit of your HVAC uses coils to keep the air within a comfortable temperature range. The main problem is that the same fan (that pulls air into the system) also pulls in a lot of debris. This is similar to the situation you have with the air filters above. The easy plan here is to ensure that there is no debris of any kind on the coil or around it.

Unlike the filter, you will need to check the outdoor unit, and the area surrounding it. Ensure that the entire space is clear, which will allow the coil to function at maximum efficiency, using up less energy. The most common things you will find will be tree leaves, dirt and sticks. If you have a lot of plants around the outdoor unit, remove them. If they are in pots, move them away. Other than making the area clear, you can also vacuum away the dust off the fan. This allows the fans to run faster and at optimal speed. If the coils are too dirty, you could take the help of an expert service provider.

Air Ducts

Air ducts run throughout your house, and are responsible for carrying the heat from the outdoor unit and throughout your house. Think of them as a hallway and corridor used by air for movement. It is always possible that these ducts have become blocked by almost anything that can enter them. Dust is the most common culprit, but there is the chance of pests running through the ducts too. Get rid of these obstructions so that air has the freedom to move unrestricted.

Another problem would be holes, and over time, the ducts will develop loose junctions as well. These will allow air to escape when it is not supposed to. Check for leaks in the duct system and ensure that they are plugged with an industrial strength sealing paste. If the ducts are too weak, then you may wish to get them replaced from time to time.

New HVAC

If you have done all the above to no avail, then there is only one logical conclusion. The HVAC system in your house is simply too old. The solution is to replace the entire HVAC system with a newer one. Before you back off, thinking about the huge costs, here is what you need to know. Newer HVAC systems come with better outdoor units, fans and thermostats. They are also quite easy to repair.

Although you may spend a lot of money replacing your HVAC system today, you will get it back in lowered costs of maintenance and energy savings. You should also look into a regular maintenance or service schedule with an HVAC professional service, which will make your unit consume less energy by running more efficiently.


Dan McKee heads up the marketing efforts and provides digital marketing strategies to the marketing team at Service Champions in California.

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