HVAC units use a lot of energy. According to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling systems account for some of the largest energy expenditures in most homes. The good news is that there are several steps you can take in your West Ashley, South Carolina, home to help your HVAC unit function more efficiently without sacrificing your comfort. Keep reading to find out how these easy, cost-effective ways can help improve the efficiency of your HVAC unit:
Adjust Your Thermostat Settings
Adjusting your thermostat by just 5 or 6 degrees — up in the summer and down in the winter — can make a big dent in your energy usage. As a result, it can save you money and reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Consider upgrading to a smart thermostat so you can automatically adjust the temperature in your home when you’re away.
Pay Attention to Curtains and Blinds
Keeping your curtains and blinds closed during the hot summer days helps keep the sun from warming your home. As a result, it decreases the cooling load on your HVAC unit. Conversely, opening them on cold winter days can help let in some light that’ll warm your home.
Clear Your Condensate Drain Line
The location of your drain line depends on your HVAC system. Most are either directly underneath the inside unit or the outside condenser unit of your system. It’s important to care for it since clogged drain lines are one of the most common causes of air conditioning problems.
Checking the line and cleaning it occasionally can help your unit operate efficiently and reduce the risk of it developing problems in the future. This is one of the few HVAC maintenance tasks that homeowners can and should do themselves when necessary.
Seal Air Leaks and Insulate Your Home
Any ductwork that runs through unconditioned areas of your home, such as your attic, should be properly sealed to prevent conditioned air from leaking out. While you may be able to spot large, obvious leaks yourself, have your ductwork inspected by a professional during your next maintenance visit. We’ll be able to determine how thick the insulating material should be to help your HVAC system function efficiently.
Inadequate home insulation will allow conditioned air to flow out. As a result, it’ll force your HVAC unit to work overtime to maintain a comfortable temperature. Improve your HVAC unit’s efficiency by trapping the air it heats and cools inside your home.
Consider adding insulation to walls and installing energy-efficient windows. Pipes and outlets are common sources of air leaks that people don’t always think to inspect, so check them periodically.
Clean Around the Condenser Unit
The outside unit, also called the condenser unit, works best when it’s clean. Keep the area surrounding the unit free of debris and trim any nearby hedges and bushes. Scheduling professional maintenance every year is the best way to make sure your condenser unit stays in good working order.
Unblock Indoor Vents
Make sure nothing is blocking your indoor vents. Large pieces of furniture near these areas can block airflow and drastically impact HVAC performance.
Don’t forget to change your filter regularly, and vacuum and wipe down both supply and return vents to keep them free of dust. It’s easier for vents to maintain a steady airflow when they’re clean. Vents covered in dust and debris cause your HVAC system to work harder to pull air in and blow it out, increasing your energy usage and utility bills.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
Schedule regular preventative maintenance to improve HVAC efficiency and prolong your unit’s life. While there are a multitude of ways you can support HVAC performance on your own, nothing is as effective as having a service technician inspect, clean and maintain your unit on a regular basis. During a visit, your service technician will be able to spot small problems before they become large and expensive ones.
Do you need to schedule a preventative maintenance appointment? Are you interested in learning about other ways to help your HVAC unit function more efficiently? Contact Berkeley Heating & Air Conditioning at (843) 277-6030, and we’ll be glad to help.
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