Heating & Cooling Maintenance and Tips
We all live in the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) world. But what does it mean? Well, humans want to be protected from outdoor elements while inside their home (or car). HVAC (a subset of mechanical engineering) is the technology of indoor environmental comfort.
This means the planning, manufacturing, installation, configuration and proper operation of heating and cooling systems including: central air conditioning, electric and gas furnaces, heat pumps, geothermal heating and much more.
Heating and Cooling Systems
In the US, about 53% of heating and cooling systems work with natural gas with another 30% being powered by electricity. While extremely effective, these use more energy than any other household system. In fact, typically, heating and cooling accounts for about 43% of your utility bill. The systems also add to global climate change by emitting 150 million tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.
The system installed in your house does most of the work in maintaining a comfortable temperature. However, there are many actions you can take that can assist in the process of comfort, help with the environment and result in cost savings for you.
- Consider installing whole house fans. They pull cool air through the house and push warm air through your attic.
- Set your thermostat as close as possible to the outside temperature while still remaining comfortable. The smaller the difference between the outside and inside air temperatures, the lower your cooling costs.
- Refrain from setting a colder temperature when you turn on your air conditioner. This does not cool your home any faster. Plus it could result in cooling to excess creating an unnecessary cost increase.
- Think about installing interior fans in your home. They help spread the cooled air without adding much to the use of your power.
- Place any lamps or other devices that emit heat away from the thermostat. Heat can be sensed by the thermostat which may cause your air conditioner to stay on longer than needed.
- Consider purchasing a new, energy- efficient model air conditioner if you have an old one. Purchasing Energy Star and Energy Guide rated units could result in as much as a 50% reduction on your cooling bill.
- Set your thermostat as low as you can and still feel comfortable, especially while you are sleeping. This can result in heating bill savings.
- Make sure you clean and/or replace your furnace filters monthly or as needed.
- Clean baseboard heaters, warm-air registers and radiators at least once per season.
- Make sure the heating vents are not blocked by beds, furniture, carpeting or drapes.
- Expel trapped air from hot- water radiators at least once per season.
- Install heat-resistant reflectors between radiators and exterior walls.
- Keep draperies and shades open by any windows where the sun shines in your home during the winter. Close them at night to reduce any chill.
These tips will help you create an efficient, comfortable indoor environment.