How to Save Energy on Heating and Cooling your Home through Green Products and Practices
The most energy-consuming appliance in your home is most likely your home comfort system. A home comfort system consists of heating and cooling units- typically a furnace and central air conditioner- and may consume as much as half of the energy that your home uses altogether. While this system may be a main source of wasted energy, there are a number of opportunities for increasing energy efficiency through green products and practices.
One big way to go green when it comes to heating and cooling is to update your system to a high-efficiency model. Outdated furnaces and air conditioners may waste a ton of energy, especially if they are ten years old or more. New models are made for increased energy-efficiency and can make a big difference in saving energy for the environment and saving money on energy bills. ENERGY STAR® models are a smart choice because they are designed to reach a high standard of efficiency that most other units do not.
Whether you’re considering upgrading your home comfort system or working with the system that you have, keep in mind these areas for getting the most out of your energy-efficient products and for saving energy all around:
1. Clean the Air Filter
The efficiency of your heating and cooling system will be affected by the air filter that’s used inside, whether you have a high-efficiency system or not. A typical air filter needs to be cleaned or replaced once a month to every three months in order for it to work effectively and to keep the system operating efficiently, as well. Because the job of an air filter is to collect airborne particles, it can fill up quickly and become dirty from dust and other contaminants that it has captured. Depending on the make of the filter and its own efficiency rating, as well as household factors such as the number of pets or smokers, the more quickly the filter may fill up, and the more frequently it will need to be cleaned or replaced. Once an air filter is filled, airflow is restricted, and the harder the heating or cooling system has to work, therefore wasting a great deal of energy. If you have a high-efficiency home comfort system, especially, then maintenance will go hand in hand with upholding its intended rate of performance.
2. Adjust the Temperature
The temperatures you normally set your thermostat to may waste additional energy in your home. It’s estimated that adjusting the temperature by ten to fifteen degrees for at least four hours a day can contribute to significant savings over a year. Programmable thermostats are designed to do this for you, taking your daily schedule into account and modifying temperatures accordingly. For example, if your home is unoccupied for several hours a day each day consistently, then a programmable thermostat can raise or lower the temperature, depending on the season, while you’re away and reset it to normal before you return home. More energy is wasted by keeping indoor temperatures at one desired setting all of the time than by returning to the desired temperature after a several-hour adjustment period.
3. Use Natural Sources
Natural sources of heating and cooling may be at your disposal more often than not. When the sun warms your home in early winter, or a cool breeze blows in late summer, you can take the opportunity to turn off your heat or AC, adjust the blinds, and open your windows. Heat from the sun may warm your home for a good part of the day when temperatures are cool outside, so raise your blinds to let in as much sunlight as you can. In warmer months, however, you may want to keep your blinds down to keep the sun from raising the temperature in your home, and by doing so you can adjust your thermostat. Opening windows when appropriate can allow in a generous breeze for natural cool air, while also increasing ventilation and helping to improve the indoor air quality. Plus, fresh air can keep your home from feeling stuffy.
Daily practices can have a significant impact on energy savings over time, in addition to the savings benefits of high-efficiency products. Any way that you can save energy when heating and cooling your home, while still remaining comfortable, can make a difference, helping the environment, your home, and your budget.
By Gillece Services, a plumbing company serving Pittsburgh, PA. For more information be sure to visit their site.