There are four major systems in your home that work together to keep you comfortable: HVAC, ductwork, the shell, and lighting. Much like the human body, when one system is operating inefficiently, it will affect all of the other systems. Maintaining a high level of energy efficiency in your home is essential if you’re interested in saving money and reducing your carbon footprint. And who isn’t interested in saving money AND the earth?
Following are ways to maintain or improve the efficiency of these systems for the highest level of year-round energy efficiency in the home.
The furnace and air conditioner require annual maintenance to operate efficiently and to prevent common problems that can be very costly to repair, or which may even require replacing the entire system.
Over time, connections become loose, belts fray, lubrication dries up, and things just stop working right. Annual preventive maintenance is the number one way to lower your heating and cooling bills and prevent expensive repairs. Between maintenance visits, another essential task is replacing the dirty air filter to ensure optimum indoor air quality, prevent dust from building up inside your system, and ensure proper airflow.
Leaky ducts in the typical home account for the leaking out of up to 40 percent of the air that moves through. That’s a lot of wasted heating and cooling, and it’s akin to throwing money in the garbage every month.
Seal loose joints in the ducts with UL-approved metal tape or specially formulated mastic duct sealant. Check the duct connections at the main unit and all of the registers in the home.
Insulate ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, or other unconditioned area to keep air inside at the optimum temperature and to prevent condensation during the winter, which can promote mold growth.
Consisting of walls, ceilings, windows, and floors, the shell of your home is what keeps you inside rather than outside. The shell should keep outdoor air outside and indoor air inside, but especially in older homes, air leaks around doors, windows, baseboards, recessed lighting fixtures, and service entrances allow conditioned air to escape and unconditioned air to infiltrate. This means your HVAC system is working extra hard to compensate, which results in higher energy bills and more wear on the furnace and air conditioner. Seal air leaks with caulk and weatherstripping to increase your comfort while decreasing the amount of money you pay for it.
Lighting your home accounts for a significant portion of your annual utility bills. Inefficient lighting can cost you a lot more money than necessary. Additionally, incandescent light bulbs heat up the home during the long, hot Atlanta summer.
Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, which use a staggering 75 percent less electricity and last six times longer. While they’re more expensive to purchase, they pay for themselves several times over during their lifespan in energy savings.
For more expert advice about how you can lower your energy bills and maintain a highly energy efficient home, please feel free to contact us at Comfort Control, Inc.