Fall season is upon us here in metro Atlanta, and with that comes cooler weather, depending on what part of the country you’re in. Even if you’re not experiencing lower temperatures just yet, the shift in temperature will arrive sooner than the Christmas decorations and merchandise at your local stores (and you know those make their debut quite early). So when it comes to energy efficiency, being one step ahead of the season will save everyone time and money in the long run. With space heating accounting for nearly half of your home’s energy use, maintaining and possibly upgrading your air duct sealing, thermostat settings and insulation could save you approximately 30% on your energy bill, according to the Department of Energy. That’s quite a chunk of change so we’ve compiled a list of 9 ways you can be A/C savvy during winter.
- Schedule routine maintenance early.
One of the best times to have your local A/C maintenance provider come for a check-up is during fall season (scheduling it around Game Day and football Sunday would be best). Why? It’s better to take care of your heating needs, as minimal as they may be, before extreme temperatures strike.
- Two words: Zoned System.
If at all possible, consider looking into installing a zoned system, which is controlled by multiple thermostats in multiple zones. This will prevent you from having to pay to heat or cool areas in your home that are barely used. Closing air vents aren’t an efficient alternative to a zoned system as doing so may cause leaks in the air ducts from the pressure and it will also make your A/C less efficient in the long run.
- Invest in programmable thermostats.
You’ll usually find these programmable thermostats in newer homes but can certainly upgrade to these in an older home without a problem. Setting a thermostat on a particular schedule depending on your work schedule or vacation will ensure you’re not running your heater all day when it’s not necessary to do so. The best part? It will reduce heating costs by about 35 percent.
- Keep cold drafts from entering your home.
You may not have realized this but windows, doors and holes in walls that are not sealed properly can invite Old Man Winter into your home. Avoid this by adding weather-stripping and caulking any holes you see. Also make sure doors and window sills are sealed properly. Doing this simple step can save you 10 percent or more on your energy bill.
- Replace your A/C filter.
If you have a mechanical air filter or HEPA filter inside your heating system, make sure to have an air conditioning and heating technician replace it annually. Checking your filter is quick and easy but you may just need to put it on your calendar so you don’t forget when you need to check it, preferably before you notice your A/C is being less efficient.
- Insulate your attic.
If you are in a newer home, the attic may already be insulated but it would be a good idea to make sure it’s insulated properly. If you live in an older home, you may need to consider doing so as this can be the most cost-efficient way to cut home heating costs.
- Let the sun in.
During the winter months, we suggest you leave blinds and curtains open during the day to let the sunlight enter your home. Just remember to close them at night to reduce the chill from cold windows.
- Adjust thermostat while you’re out of town.
While you’re out of town, you’ll want to set the temperature to at least 50 degrees. This will also help to keep the pipes from freezing and potentially bursting while you’re away.
- Close fireplace dampers
This of course only applies to homes with fireplaces. If you don’t have a fireplace, you’re already being energy efficient (I hope this outweighs your desire to decorate a mantle for the holidays. Yes? No?).
Well, that pretty much sums up how you can be proactive and efficient with your heating system in your home. Hopefully these tips will leave enough money in your pocket for the holiday season up ahead.
For more information about the zoned system and programmable thermostat, call Home Comfort Solution at 678-546-0433.