Save Energy with Heating and Cooling Systems
Find Out Where YOUR Home is Losing Energy:
In a typical home, about half of the energy used is for heating and cooling. It's by far the largest energy expense, and the reason why energy efficient heating and cooling can have such a significant impact. Proper maintenance, sizing and use of heating and cooling equipment can help keep you comfortable while saving money on your energy bills.
Regular Maintenance is Key
To keep your system working efficiently, check the air filter each month and replace it when dirty - and at least every three months. Mark your calendar to remind yourself each month, and keep a log on or near the unit to keep track of when the filter was changed. Have your system checked in the spring and fall by a licensed HVAC contractor, to make sure everything is working. Regular maintenance will increase the system's energy efficiency. avoid system failures and lengthen the life of the equipment.
Use ENERGY STAR's 10 Tips for Hiring a Heating and Cooling Contractor to help you select the right contractor.
Ducts Affect Energy Efficiency
Ducts are a major part of your heating and cooling system, responsible for bringing the heated or cooled air to the different rooms of your house. Ducts that aren't properly sized, sealed and insulated can make your heating or cooling system less efficient, which wastes energy, costs you money and often leads to uncomfortable conditions in your home.
- Most homes have leaky ductwork, which lets that expensive heated or cooled air escape into the walls, crawl space or attic before it reaches its destination. This makes your system work harder to keep you comfortable, which adds to your utility costs. Have an energy assessor test your ducts to locate any leaks, and have them sealed up as soon as possible. Use mastic or metallic tape, and not duct tape which tends to fail sooner.
- Insulate your ducts in unconditioned areas such as crawl spaces or attics, to keep the air inside the ducts warm (or cold) until it reaches its destination.
- Are your ducts the right size for your heating and cooling equipment? Improperly-sized ducts are inefficient at getting the air to the rooms of the house, making your system work harder. You'll pay higher energy bills, and your system may fail sooner. Have your ducts checked by a home energy auditor or a heating and cooling contractor. Consider changing your ducts when you get a new heating and cooling system.
You can save on your heating and cooling costs by replacing old equipment with new, energy efficient equipment. If your air conditioner or heat pump is more than 12 years old, you can save up to 20% on your heating and cooling costs with an ENERGY STAR model. And if your furnace is more than 15 years old, consider replacing it with an ENERGY STAR qualified furnace, which is 15% more efficient than a conventional model.
When it comes to heating and cooling equipment, bigger doesn't always mean better. Oversized equipment can be excessively noisy, and tends to cycle on and off more frequently than necessary, which can shorten the life of the unit. It may be less effective at heating or cooling the space, causing uncomfortable conditions.
On the other hand, undersized equipment is less efficient, causing increased wear on the system's components, which can lead to premature system failure. Need help? Contact your local Building Energy Pros.
Useful Energy Efficient Solutions:
- Attic Attic Ventilation, Duct Sealing, Chimney Sealing
- Basement Retire your old refrigerator!, Dehumidifier, Water Heater
- Bathroom Vanity Lights, Light Switch, Vent Fan
- Bedroom Bed-Side Lamp, Light Switch, Room Air Conditioner
- Dining Room Light Fixture, Light Switch, Programmable Thermostat
- Heating and Cooling Systems Table Lamp, Light Switch ...
- Home Office Desk Lamp, Ducts, Electrical Outlets, Power Strip
- HVAC HVAC air conditioning. HVAC Maintenance. HVAC contractor.
- Kitchen Light Fixture, Light Switch, Floor Vents/Radiators
- Living Room Table Lamp, Ceiling Fan with Lighting, Light Switch
- Outside House A/C Unit, Porch Light, Thermal Boundary
- Energy Efficient Windows Replace or Renovate, Energy Efficient Window Treatments
We were unaware of what was involved in an energy audit and your audior took the time to explain everything. We were impressed with the report which told us the areas in which we need to take action on. He never pressured us to use any particular contractors, he just suggested that we go to the Building Energy Pros web site to select contractors of our own choice. He did an excellent job and we HIGHLY recommend the Building Energy Pros. We already have recommended them to several of our neighbors. Again, EXCELLENT JOB!
The Building Energy Pros auditor was very knowledgeable. I was VERY HAPPY with him. He promptly E-mailed my energy audit report to me and I will consider all of his recommendations.
We found out that our house really has no energy problems. We are happy to know that we
I was very satisfied with your energy auditor. He was very qualified and spent a great deal of time with me. The energy audit was very informative.
The energy auditor was very good and helpful. He keeps in touch with me to answer any of my questions.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. The auditor gave me some tips on attic insulation that were very helpful.
I was very satisfied with my energy audit. Thank you!
Very good service! I am going to replace the windows as the auditor had suggested.
I was very happy with the energy audit. THANKS!
My energy audit was very helpful. Joe Dempsey, your auditor, identified some structural problems that I was not aware of and explained to me why I need more insulation.
The auditor was EXCELLENT! He spent ALOT of time with me. I am going to take 3 to 4 of his suggestions and correct these small items to save on my energy bills.
The auditor did a GREAT JOB! He knew a lot about older homes, which we have. The report was very comprehensive. Thank you!
Your energy auditor was very nice and helpful. He answered all of our questions. We will recommend Building Energy Pros to our friends and neighbors.
The auditor did a TERRIFIC JOB! The report was FANTASTIC! I will make all the repairs he suggested. I will definitely recommend him to everyone I know that could benefit from a home energy audit.
Steve Sleigh, Chevy Chase
The energy auditor was very professional and I am very satisfied with both the energy audit and the report I received. I will be referring the Building Energy Pros.
I was very satisfied with the auditor. He was great and gave me some very valuable information. I will refer him to people I know who may need a home energy audit.
Your home energy audit proved to be very informative and helpful. I was not aware of the updraft created inside our walls because of the balloon framing construction. You said that that can cause heat to be pulled out of the house with the draft going up inside the walls and should be re-mediated. You also said that the attic insulation was insufficient and that fiberglass batts can leave spaces for around the edges causing heat loss and that it should have blown in insulation on top of what was there to seal the whole attic and increase the r factor. After going over your findings and telling me how you would fix the problems you told me how I could do it myself with stuff from the Home Center and for a quarter of the cost. Well, I did. I went into the basement and filled the bottom of the wall joist with unfaced insulation where they set on the sill plate. I then cut one inch foam board the size for each space and set it in and the sealed the edges of that with expanding foam as well as the sill plate to the foundation. I also sealed the sill plate to the foundation where the joist ran along it, as well as the top of those joist where it made contact with the subflooring. Next I went to the home center and rented their blown insulation machine and got ten bales of the insulation. I filled the attic on top of the batt insulation with about six inches giving another r-19 factor on top of the r-19 that was there. You said that the blown in would also help seal the heat loss around the edges of the batt. The work in the basement cost $144.00 and the work in the attic cost $328.00. After the 30% federal energy tax credit it will end up costing me about $330.00, which you said I should recover in savings in the first year. Thank You for all your advice and expertise. You made me aware of things I should consider and did.