Energy costs are a significant expense of home ownership. Maximizing efficiency can help you save money while making your home more comfortable. However, it takes more than simply finding the right balance on your thermostat. While controlling the temperature is part of the solution, there are other steps you can take to make your home energy efficient without sacrificing comfort.
Here are seven things you can do to improve your home’s comfort levels, no matter the season:
1. Change your furnace filter.
Changing your furnace’s air filter is the simplest, most economical way to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system, to keep your indoor air clean, and to ensure your system is working properly to heat and cool your home. The air filter removes dust and dirt particles, including common allergens, from the air. Eventually, however, the filter will become clogged and restrict the airflow to your system. This results in poor air quality, uneven heating and cooling, and unnecessary wear and tear on your system. In other words, less comfort, higher energy bills, more frequent repairs and shorter equipment life.
2. Get a programmable thermostat.
Today’s thermostat technology makes controlling the temperature and energy use of your heating and cooling system as easy as pushing a button. With a programmable thermostat, you can easily raise and lower the temperature automatically to keep your home comfortable when you are there, without wasting energy when you are away. Program a weekly schedule, control different zones of your home individually and even make adjustments using your smartphone from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Smart thermostats can even learn your routine and preferences.
3. Get an air purifier.
Indoor air can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the EPA. The right air filtration system can eliminate the allergens and irritants that commonly build up in a home. This is particularly important for allergy and asthma sufferers and anyone with respiratory issues, but everyone benefits from breathing clean air.
4. Apply weather stripping or caulk around windows and doors.
Sealing leaks and cracks prevent the air you are paying to heat and cool from escaping to the great outdoors. Your HVAC system won’t have to work as hard to maintain the proper temperature of your home, which saves energy and reduces wear and tear.
5. Use blinds and window coverings to adjust the amount of sun coming in.
Take advantage of passive solar benefits in winter by allowing more sun in. Keep your home cooler in summer by closing blinds or shades to prevent the sun from heating up your home. Simple yet effective.
6. Tune-up or upgrade your HVAC system.
HVAC technology is constantly improving and becoming more energy efficient. If your system is 10 to 15 years old, or older, the cost of a new system will be greatly offset by the energy savings, and you’ll experience greater comfort. If your system is less than 10 years old, an annual tune-up will keep your system working at its best, will prevent minor problems from turning into major repairs and will extend the life of your system.
7. Have your ductwork cleaned and sealed.
Cleaning and sealing your air ducts offers many benefits including improved comfort, increased energy savings, better air quality, and reduced dust and musty odors.