Most goods and services have risen in price lately, and gas and electricity are no exception. Heating and cooling are basic necessities, so you shouldn’t have to go bankrupt to keep yourself comfortable. Thankfully, you can save money without sacrificing your quality of life. If you want to lower your energy bill, then you just need to avoid these 18 common HVAC mistakes.
Obstructing Your Air Conditioner
Air conditioners need to be able to freely blow cool air into a room. If something is in your unit’s way, then air won’t flow properly, so it will take much longer for your home to cool down. Therefore, you need to remember to raise your curtains and move all furniture at least a few feet away from your unit before turning it on.
Failing To Clean or Replace Filters
Your HVAC systems’ filters prevent your systems from spreading dirt, debris, and fine particles through your home. Because of this, they gradually accumulate all kinds of gunk over time, and dirty filters will force your air conditioners and heater to work extra hard to bring your home to the desired temperature. The harder your HVAC systems have to work, the more energy they’ll waste, so dirty filters can greatly increase the cost of heating and cooling your home.
You should check your air conditioner’s filter at least once per month during the summer. To clean your air conditioner’s filter, you simply need to turn the unit off, locate the filter, wipe it down with a dry cloth, and run warm water through it. If your unit has a disposable filter, then you should remove it and buy a new filter at your local hardware store. Check the user manual or call the manufacturer if you’re not sure where your unit’s filter is.
You’ll most likely be able to find your furnace’s filter in a rectangular slot directly adjacent to the furnace. Most furnace filters are disposable, and you’re supposed to change them once every three months. If you have pets that shed fur, then you may have to change your filter once every other month. To remove your filter, turn the furnace off, unscrew the cover, and gently slide the filter out. Different filters have different dimensions, so make sure to write down your filter’s dimensions before heading to the hardware store.
Running Your Air Conditioners in Empty Rooms
While a central air system will blow air through every vent to cool your entire home, mounted air conditioners are only meant to cool down a single room. Mounted units cannot efficiently spread air through your entire home, so they will waste a lot of energy if you use them for that purpose. With that in mind, you should only run an air conditioner in a room that you’re currently occupying.
Keeping Your Windows Open
During the warmer months, you might open your windows to cool your home and forget about them when you turn your air conditioner on. If your windows are open while your air conditioner is on, then a lot of warm air will come in, and your unit will take much longer to cool your home. This is the equivalent of throwing money out the window. Therefore, before running your air conditioner, you should get in the habit of regularly checking all of the windows and doors in your home to make sure that they’re shut.
Neglecting To Pull Your Shades or Blinds
Even the most efficient windows don’t completely prevent energy from moving between your interior and the great outdoors. To maintain a stable indoor temperature, you should draw your blinds and curtains. Many companies make energy-efficient blinds and curtains to further insulate your home at a reasonable price, and the long-term savings are almost always worth the initial investment.
Constantly Adjusting the Temperature
For the best results, you need to leave your thermostat alone after setting it the first time. Turning the temperature higher than you want it won’t make your home warm up any quicker. Instead, it will burn more energy and make your interior too hot. When your home is too hot, you will have to turn the thermostat down, causing you to constantly fiddle with the thermostat to get the perfect temperature. Your furnace burns a lot of fuel every time you cycle the system on and off, so you should just set it once and patiently wait for your furnace to do its job.
Not Cleaning Your Vents
Vents facilitate the quick exchange of air from your heater or central air conditioner to the rest of your home. Over time, dust, lint, hair, and other debris will accumulate in these vents. When your vents are clogged, air can’t properly circulate, so your home will be very slow to heat or cool. Moreover, clogged vents are a major fire hazard in colder months when your furnace is constantly running.
You don’t want your house to burn down, so it’s important to clean your vents once every two or three years. Cleaning your vents isn’t as simple as wiping down the metal vent cover. You must remove the metal covers, thoroughly wash them, and pull out any debris from inside of the duct. Alternatively, you can ask a good HVAC maintenance professional to do this for you.
Forgetting To Update Your Thermostat Settings
Installing a digital thermostat is a great way to automatically regulate the temperature in your home and save a lot of money over time. However, it’s important to adjust your thermostat’s settings as the seasons change. If you’ve programmed the thermostat in January and haven’t checked it since, then your home is going to be boiling when summer comes around. To keep up with current weather conditions while saving as much energy as possible, you need to set a reminder to check your thermostat’s settings at the beginning of every month.
Forgetting To Insulate Your Doorways and Windows
A lot of air can escape through the gaps in your doorways and window frames, making it harder to maintain a stable temperature within your home. Luckily, this is a very easy problem to fix. As long as you have a caulk gun and some inexpensive silicone-based caulk, you can easily fill in any gaps around your windows. To stop air from escaping through your doorways, you should caulk any gaps around the doorframe. After that, apply weather strips on the sides and top of the interior of the doorframe. Finally, you can install a door sweep to seal the gap at the bottom of your door. Insulating your doors and windows is relatively inexpensive, but it can noticeably cut down your monthly energy bill.
Not Replacing Broken Units or Components
Everything breaks eventually. Although you may have a high-quality furnace or air conditioner, its components will still wear down with continued use. HVAC systems with broken parts don’t perform as efficiently as they should, so if you’re having trouble with your HVAC system, then you need to contact a reliable HVAC repair service as soon as possible to diagnose and fix your problem.
Forgetting To Use the Kitchen Exhaust Fan
Your stove and oven generate a ton of heat. While this might not be a problem in the winter, preparing a meal can make turn your home into a desert on a hot day. Eventually, your air conditioner will bring your interior back to a comfortable temperature, but you can save energy and cool your home down quickly by running your kitchen exhaust fan while you cook.
Never Checking Refrigerant Levels
The refrigerant in your air conditioner is a gas or liquid that assists the cooling process. Unfortunately, air conditioners often leak small amounts of refrigerant over time, which makes the unit use more energy to cool your home. To check your air conditioner’s refrigerant level, follow your unit’s user manual. Dealing with your air conditioner’s refrigerant can be confusing and time-consuming, so you should consider contacting a reputable HVAC service for help. Your energy savings will be worth the upfront cost.
Turning the Heat Too High at Night
It might seem smart to turn the heat way up before hitting the hay to stay toasty through the night. While you might fall asleep more easily at a high temperature, you will eventually overheat and wake up. The optimal sleeping temperature is somewhere between 60 and 67 degrees. If this still seems a little chilly to you, then you should snuggle up under an extra blanket or two. Eventually, you will fall asleep, and you won’t wake up suddenly in a boiling room in the middle of the night.
Refusing To Schedule a Professional Checkup
Your HVAC systems might be running well now, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any problems under the surface. Only a trained eye can catch common HVAC issues before they get out of hand. New parts and repairs can be expensive, so it’s better to schedule a yearly HVAC checkup to make sure that everything is running properly.
Drying Things Near Your Heater
When your clothes are still a little damp, setting them next to the heater or vent might seem like a great way to quickly dry them out. Although this method may dry your clothes quickly, it will stop warm air from efficiently circulating through your home. Moreover, putting your clothes next to a heater or vent could cause a fire, so it’s much better to use your dryer or hang damp clothing on the clothesline.
Improperly Installing HVAC Systems
An HVAC system can only work efficiently if you install it properly. However, many HVAC systems have a lot of moving parts and can be extremely confusing to set up. On top of that, improperly installing a heater can cause a fire or lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. You want to enjoy energy savings while keeping your family safe. Therefore, you should reach out to a trustworthy HVAC installation company whenever you need to set up a new system.
Ignoring Cracks in Your Walls, Roof, and Foundation
Tiny cracks often form in your home’s foundation and walls. While these cracks may not seem like a big deal, they’re actually very expensive to ignore. Air will flow through any gaps in your structure, greatly diminishing the effectiveness of good insulation, energy-efficient windows, and modern HVAC systems. Aside from wasting energy, gaps in your walls, roof, and foundation may indicate a serious structural problem. Thus, to save energy and prevent damage to your home, you must contact a licensed inspector as soon as you notice anything wrong with your structure.
Using Cheap Space Heaters
A good space heater can save you money when electricity prices are low relative to fuel prices. Nonetheless, not just any space heater will do the trick. Cheaper models often have a very low efficiency rating, so they take much more energy to function than a more expensive model. Even the best electric space heaters pose a greater fire risk than traditional furnace heaters, so you should only use them when you’re awake and in the room with them.
Save Money With a Smart HVAC Mindset
You work hard for your paycheck, so you don’t want to waste hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the year on efficient heating and cooling. By paying attention to your behaviors, insulating your home, and practicing proper HVAC maintenance, you can stay comfortable without breaking the bank. Nonetheless, some HVAC problems might be out of your hands. If you’ve tried everything to lower your energy bill but are still having issues, then you need to contact All Seasons Toledo for affordable HVAC repair services today.