Save Money in 2017 with These HVAC Tips
The new year brings with it multiple opportunities to save money with your HVAC system. Whether you make adjustments to your existing system or invest in new or upgraded HVAC equipment, you can cut your heating and cooling costs significantly using the following tips.
- Apply regular preventive maintenance: The key to keeping your HVAC system working properly and economically is regular maintenance. By having your local trusted HVAC professional inspect your furnace, heat pump, air conditioner, or boiler at least once a year, you can trim operating costs and ensure the equipment lasts as long as possible. Your technician will make adjustments and minor repairs that will keep the system working at its best. The equipment will function at its best level of efficiency, reducing wasted energy and money. Preventive maintenance also helps reduce the possibility of unexpected malfunctions or breakdowns that require expensive repairs.
- Upgrade or add efficiency-boosting components: You can increase HVAC system performance and reduce operating costs by upgrading existing components or adding new ones designed to increase efficiency. For example, variable-speed fans are designed to operate at different speeds depending on heating or cooling needs inside your building. When your facility needs less heating or cooling, the fans work at a lower energy-saving level that produces only the amount of heating or cooling necessary to meet temperature demands.
- Install programmable thermostats: Programmable thermostats are a relatively inexpensive way to reducing HVAC costs and save money by taking better control of how your heating and cooling systems operate. They let you control with precision how often and at what level your HVAC system runs. Their best money-saving feature is probably their set points, which are preprogrammed temperature settings designed to reduce HVAC system operation when it’s not needed, such as when your facility is closed for the day. The thermostat can then automatically turn on the heating or cooling equipment in the morning to ensure a comfortable indoor environment when you open.
- Seal ductwork to prevent air leaks: Since all the heated or cooled air produced by your HVAC system travels through the ductwork, this area presents a significant problem if air leaks occur. Some or all of the conditioned air you’re counting on for the inside of your facility could be lost before it gets there. Make sure your ductwork is inspected and maintained along with your HVAC system. All sections of the ducts should fit tightly together. Connections should be sealed with a specialized sealant such as mastic or with metal tape designed for use on ducts. Take particular care to make sure duct sections are attached and sealed at registers and vents.
- Hire qualified HVAC professionals: When you hire an HVAC professional to maintain or repair your heating or cooling system, work with somebody you know and trust. If you don’t have a regular HVAC provider, get recommendations from friends, colleagues, or local business organizations. The quality of service you receive will depend on the skills and abilities of your HVAC provider, so look for individuals and companies with good reputations and who hold relevant certifications.
- Install new, high-efficiency equipment: If your budget allows it, or if your existing HVAC system is finally beyond repair, install newer high-efficiency models for your heating and cooling needs. High-efficiency HVAC equipment can slash monthly costs by a significant percentage. The savings can be so great that you can usually recover the cost of the equipment through monthly savings alone within a few years of initial installation. Look for high SEER and AFUE numbers that indicate high efficiency. Equipment that carries the Energy Star certification will also be very efficient and will save money.