Heating and cooling costs are as much a part of a homeowner’s life as cable bills and gutter cleanings, but what many people do not know about their HVAC could be driving their monthly bills into the stratosphere. If homeowners can act to improve what professionals refer to as the building’s envelope, they could drastically cut down on the need for heating and air conditioning repair. Sealing leaky duct work is an important first step, but upgrading older furnaces or boilers could also jump start your home or business’s efficiency ratings.
What is the first step to a heat-healthy home? Heating repairs can seem overwhelming, but contractors recommend contacting them before you seek to replace your furnace. If the HVAC system was not installed properly, you could be losing as much as one-third of your home or business’s ambient heat. Local air conditioning repairs contractors can do a thorough systems check and can tell you if you’re losing heat or air conditioning to the outside world.
Once you know the extent of your heat loss, you can start to discuss repairs with local contractors. Air conditioning repairs are best undertaken well in advance of the hottest time of year, and heating repairs should be scheduled for late summer to early fall. After sealing your duct work, contractors may recommend that you replace your furnace. If the heat exchanger or control module is bad, you may as well replace the entire furnace if you’ve had it for more than 15 years; contractors can help you find a new or used energy-efficient model.
In the absence of any major heating or air conditioning repairs, saving money on your monthly bill could be as straightforward as changing HVAC filters on a regular basis. How often is too often? Experts say that your home or business’s HVAC filters should be changed at least four times per year; if you wish to change filters monthly, that would be acceptable as well. Across America, air conditioning units use more than 5% of all the electricity available: experts also recommend upgrading to ecologically-friendly air conditioning units.
How do I seal my home’s heating envelope? After all heating and air condition repairs, you should see a noticeable drop in your monthly bill. If you want to work on getting your home to its most efficient state, then it’s time for a trip to the local gardening store. Recent studies show that planting shade trees or tall bushes can also improve your home or business’s efficiency ratings: just make sure to plant trees where their shade will be most effective. Another way to seal your home’s envelope is to make sure to shut off and unplug appliances when they are not in use; after extensive air conditioning repairs, the last thing you want to do is to overtax the new system.
So much of home and business ownership is knowing when to make repairs and when to invest in newer equipment. Newer washers and dryers use less electricity, but if yours are older and you are not quite ready to upgrade, then you may want to run an electric fan to clear out the humidity after you do laundry. Anything that you can do that decreases the workload for your HVAC system is essential: some experts even recommend that you dip a washcloth into cold water and spread it over a box fan — the kind that sits on the floor — during a heat wave.
If you have established a cleaning schedule for your gutters and your roof then you are ahead of the pack: most people neglect to conduct routine repairs, but Americans are increasingly reliant upon local contractors to help them maintain their homes’ health. Take some time to meet with an air conditioning repair team and let them walk you through the process of repairing your existing HVAC system. Your home will be glad for the attention.