Home Heating and Cooling Energy Efficiency Tips
When homeowners ask how they can lower energy bills to save money without sacrificing comfort, our experts share these simple energy efficiency tips. Read through these tips, tricks, and best practices, and then give us a call or ask a question online for more information.
- • Upgrade to an electronically commutated motor (ECM)—and you can get up to $50 in Focus on Energy rebates. New energy conservation standards have been applied to regulate the efficiency of furnace fans. Replacing an outdated model with a new ECM—a variable-speed motor—will save you money on energy bills well into the future because these motors maximize efficiency. Upgrading to an ECM also keeps you more comfortable because the blower runs continuously. This helps even out temperatures in your home and ensures continuous air filtration. Remember, if air isn’t flowing through the air filter, it isn’t being cleaned. In most cases, homeowners recoup the cost of their ECM motor in energy savings in 2 years or less.
- • Use your ceiling fan to help you stay comfortable—adjust your fan to rotate clockwise in winter and counter-clockwise in summer. This moves air downwards or upwards accordingly to keep your heating and cooling comfort where you want it—near you rather than overhead. That means a more comfortable home and lower energy bills because you can adjust your furnace and AC down or up, too.
- • Consider a Wi-Fi thermostat—these smart thermostat controls monitor your energy usage better than you can on your own. Some models will even make recommendations to help you save money by adjusting your thermostat when you’re away from home or programming it to automatically change temperature based on your schedule. Used correctly, you can save up to 30 percent on energy bills. Discover more reasons why we recommend Wi-Fi thermostats in our blog.
- • Change your air filters regularly—dirty air filters, clogged with dust, dander, and pet hair, block airflow and make your system work harder to keep up. Replacing your air filters at the recommended times keeps air moving, which lowers energy bills and saves you money.
- • Ask about a humidifier or dehumidifier—humidifiers add moisture to the air and help you feel warm at lower temperatures during winter. Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture and help you feel cool at higher temperatures in summer. Both systems can save you money on heating and cooling bills, and offer a number of other benefits, like reducing airborne particles that cause allergy and asthma symptoms.
- • Open shades and curtains during the day—let the sun’s natural warmth heat your home on sunny winter days to give your furnace small breaks instead of running constantly. Similarly, keep shades and curtains closed during the summer to hold cool air indoors and keep the sun’s heat out. Both tips help your heating and cooling systems run less often to save you money.
- • Make sure your home is well-insulated—hold your hand in front of windows and doors to see if any drafts are coming in. If so, seal them to keep your heated or air conditioned air indoors. And make sure your attic is well-insulated, especially if your home is under construction. Talk to your contractor to ensure the attic is airtight to avoid wasting money on energy bills.
- • Schedule routine system tuneups—this is the only way to keep your system clean and running safely and efficiently. Without regular service, gunk builds up and blocks airflow—you’ll feel less comfortable and end up with higher energy bills. Avoid these annoyances and significant breakdowns in the future by catching problems early during an annual tuneup. Sign up for a maintenance agreement to make sure your system gets the attention it needs every year.