Saving money on the heating bill is at the forefront of South Carolina homeowners’ minds during the winter. If you’re looking to improve your HVAC system’s energy efficiency during the cold season in Park Circle, it’s good to know that there are several things you can do to ensure your system is working optimally.
Set it and Forget it
Fiddling with your thermostat all winter long can result in increased energy usage. To combat this, set your thermostat to 68 degrees and let the heating system do the rest of the work for you. When you feel a bit chilled, opt for a throw or sweater instead of turning up the temperature. You may be amazed at how much you can save simply by having a hands-off approach to your thermostat.
For even more energy savings, invest in a programmable thermostat. This innovation will allow you to set your ideal daytime temperature to 68 degrees, but you can also program the thermostat to reduce the temperature by 5 degrees at night or when you’re away from home. Many models offer different programs for weekends and weekdays, allowing you to fully customize your heating needs.
Change the Air Filter Monthly
Indoor air quality during the winter can be worse than any other time of year because the house is more likely to be shut tight to keep in the heat. This means that you will have a greater buildup of dust, debris, pet dander, and allergens in your air filters, and clogged air filters greatly reduce your HVAC system’s efficiency.
When air filters become clogged, your HVAC system strains to keep up, working harder to force heated air through the system. This not only means a higher utility bill, but it could result in complete system failure. Changing your air filters regularly will extend the life of your HVAC unit, keep utility bills in check, and maintain your indoor air quality. During the winter, it’s crucial to change your air filters at least once every four to six weeks, although monthly is a good rule of thumb year-round – depending on the type of filter.
Schedule a Seasonal HVAC Tune-Up
Seasonal HVAC services are essential for the proper maintenance of your system. Most experts recommend having your annual servicing done in the spring to prepare your AC for summer, and a pre-winter tune-up is just as important for your heating system.
HVAC technicians will check your thermostat settings and placement, inspect system connections, lubricate moving parts, check the system controls, inspect and clean ductwork and filters, and even instruct you in basic ways to perform routine tasks that can boost your system’s efficiency.
While all of the above are low-cost solutions for improving your heating system’s wintertime efficiency, there are some investments you can make over several years that will help your system work even better. First of all, make sure your home is properly insulated before winter. Insulation does degrade and break down over time, causing your HVAC system to work harder than it needs to in order to maintain a comfortable temperature inside the home. Adding extra insulation to crawlspaces, the attic, and basement will go a long way in saving you money on utility costs.
Additionally, if your HVAC system is over 10 years old, it’s time to consider an upgrade. Newer systems are more energy efficient by design, so why waste money on heating costs when you could invest in a better system altogether? If the thought of upgrading to an entirely new system gives you pause, consider that, in many cases, simply upgrading to a new heat pump is enough to save you money and allow you to enjoy exceptional year-round comfort.
Professional Service and Your HVAC System’s Energy Efficiency
A professional energy evaluation or audit can help you determine whether an upgrade would be beneficial, or if you can hold off for a while. Your HVAC technician will examine your system and the conditions in and around your home, to find ways to improve your energy efficiency.
Schedule your next HVAC tune-up with Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning. Call us at (843) 277-6030, and we’ll be happy to discuss additional energy-saving solutions.
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