Duct Dynasty: Command Better Energy Savings This Summer
HVAC Maintenance Saves on Utility Bills
© 2014 by Marlena Stoddard all rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.
This article was updated on 08/30/18.
Homeowners can take several steps to improve the efficiency of their air conditioning system. The following tips cover ways to save energy on climate control costs during hot summers. It is all part of the plan to increase energy efficiency in your home.
HVAC Repair & Maintenance
A faulty central air conditioning system can waste a lot of energy. Forced air A/C systems may have blowers or fans that do not work properly. These components are responsible for circulating cool air throughout a home.
Other parts that may need attention in a forced air A/C system include the condenser unit that stands outside of a home. A malfunction in the condenser unit can prevent a proper cooling process that chills the circulated air inside a forced air system.
Install an A/C Misting System
A condenser coil misting system can help lower your cooling bills and allow your HVAC system to be more efficient, saving you money and repairs. It works by starting to mist the air around your condenser coils when the unit cycles on. Cooler air means cooler coils.
Central HVAC systems may become inefficient when the ducts and vents become clogged with dirt and debris. Sometimes, years of neglect can lead to significant accumulation of dust right inside the vents of a forced air cooling system.
Mold removal in humid environments is especially important, since humidity can make the dust and debris adhere to the sides of the ducts and grow mold. Such dust and debris can be physically vacuumed out in order to improve the air flow. Additionally, rat droppings and other undesirable waste may also be found deep inside vents and ducts of HVAC systems.
Air Filter Replacement
Central intake vents of an HVAC system are equipped with air filters. These filters can capture some of the most common pollutants such as smoke, debris, allergens, insects and even some microscopic particles or organisms.
Air filters for HVAC systems are rated on an MERV scale. A high MERV score indicates that a filter can remove some of the smallest airborne particles and organisms. Air filters should be replaced monthly or every few months in forced air cooling systems, depending on your manufacturers recommendations. Given the affordable price of filters, it is best to err on the side of caution.
What does that mean? The EPA states, Air filters should have a dust-spot rating between 35% and 80% or a Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) of between 8 and 13. The higher the rating, the better the protection for the equipment and the occupants.
The new filters allow for better cool air flow through the entire HVAC system of a home. Some HVAC systems even integrate air filters into the intake and output vents.
Climate Control Zones
Unoccupied or empty rooms in a house need not be cooled to the same temperatures as other parts of a home. To save money on energy bills, its a good idea to take advantage of multiple climate control zones for homes that are equipped with such technology.
The thermostat can be set to cooler temperatures in living rooms and kitchens throughout the day. Empty bedrooms on the upper level can be set to a higher temperature such as 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The use of ceiling fans is also recommended to circulate the air and to provide additional cooling.
Regular maintenance and service can keep an HVAC system running smoothly and save money on utility bills. Homeowners should also use smart climate control settings for different parts of a house.