Tips

We have put together the top five ways for you to save money on heating and cooling:

1. Program that AC!
If you have a programmable thermostat for your air conditioning, set the temperature a little higher to save energy when the house is empty (for example if everyone is gone all day). You can also set it up a couple degrees at night without noticing.

Watch the weather forecast, because the difference between the temperature indoors and what it is outdoors can matter just as much as an absolute setting for your home. A good compromise is 78 degrees indoors, as this will balance energy and cost savings with comfort! If you are considering a new central air system, be sure and consider that a programmable thermostat, used properly all year ’round can save the average home up to $150 a year. You may be in the market sooner when you consider this savings!

2. Find Your Air Filter and Clean it.
An air filter blocked with dust and debris will cut air flow and thus efficiency in your air conditioner. It doesn’t matter whether you have a window unit, or central air. The less air traveling through means the whole system uses more energy. If you don’t know where your filter is, consult your owner’s manual (it may even be online!) or give us a call. You should clean an air filter monthly and depending on your system, change the filter every three to six months.

3. Every Year, Have your System Checked Out.
Just like your annual physical, bring in the HVAC “Doc” for a check up at least once a year. For example, we can test both the cooling and the heating system at once and let you know if there are inefficiencies or repairs needed. It will save money to fix something small early, rather than wait until it’s too late and major repairs are needed. In addition, we can do maintenance on a scheduled date, before peak usage times in the hottest part of summer or the coldest part of winter – just when everyone else is thinking about it.

4. Check the Seals on Your Ducts
The air ducts from your central air conditioner, heat pump or forced air furnace can be wasting your energy. You can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% when you seal and insulate the duct work.

You have to look high and low in your house and garage to address this problem! First take metal-backed (foil) tape or duct sealant (mastic) and seal the seams and connections of ducts in your attic, unheated basement, or garage and crawlspace. When possible, wrap the exposed ducts in insulation which will protect them from temperature swings (hot in the summer or cold in the winter). Second, look for accessible ducts inside the house where you heat and cool to make sure they are sealed.

5. What is your furnace’s efficiency?

This number varies widely between ‘Old,’ ‘Standard,’ and ‘High’ Efficiency. Look up your ‘AFUE’ (Annual Fuel Efficiency); it represents the percentage of energy that is put back into your home as warm air.

Standard Furnaces
: average AFUE rating of 80-85%. This means that 80-85% of every dollar you spend on heating energy is returned to your home as warmed air.

High-Efficiency Furnaces:
can have ratings as high as 96% AFUE, which means an energy loss of only 4%.

Older Furnaces are usually gravity-flow models, with efficiencies averaging as little as 30%. These are no longer manufactured, but there are still some in use. If you have one, consider replacing it because the cost of a new furnace will be offset by the savings in the heating bills!

 

Call Sommer Heating and Cooling with any questions on how to save money on heating and cooling. We are here for your furnace install and repair. 913-200-6962