Expensive heating and cooling bills are one of the most common complaints of homeownership, especially in seasonally extreme weather. It’s estimated that about half the energy used in a typical household goes to heating and cooling the home. Therefore, making good decisions regarding your HVAC system can save you a lot of money annually. Below are the four most common HVAC issues that can spike your energy bills, along with some suggested solutions.
Putting Off Maintenance
If you haven’t had your HVAC system inspected by a qualified technician in the last several months, now is a good time to do so. Regular checkups will help to prevent unexpected costs and future problems while extending the life of the system and lowering energy bills. It’s a good idea to have your HVAC system inspected during the spring and fall, right before the summer and winter, when you depend on it the most. The items that technicians typically inspect are:
- Settings of the thermostat.
- Operating condition of individual parts.
- Overall airflow.
Ductwork and Insulation Leakage
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Having air ducts or insulation that leak is like throwing money out the window. Some homeowners may not even notice their HVAC system energy bill slowly rise as the leaks get worse over time. Many will just assume it’s due to an old furnace or air conditioner. Leaking ducts will cause the entire HVAC system to lose air pressure, and leaks in insulation mean that some of your heated or cooled air is going outside. Both problems can result in decreased efficiency. Many homeowners don’t put much thought into their ductwork and insulation because they’re located out of sight. However, every ventilation system should be regularly inspected and repaired by a qualified HVAC technician to ensure that it’s working properly.
Dirty Air Filters
Many homeowners don’t realize that their HVAC system has filters that need to be changed regularly. The filter is responsible for trapping dirt, dust, allergens, and other pollutants to prevent them from flowing through the HVAC system. A dirty air filter decreases airflow and forces the HVAC system to work harder to maintain temperature. This inefficiency can cost you money. On the other hand, a clean filter prevents these pollutants from accumulating in the system, eliminating the circulation of unhealthy air. A qualified technician can recommend the best air filters for your system and install them for you.
An Outdated Thermostat
Many older thermostats don’t have programmable features. A programmable thermostat can save homeowners up to a couple of hundred dollars per year. With a programmable thermostat, homeowners can set the exact times and temperatures for the comfortable and efficient operation of the HVAC system. Many of the smart thermostats use artificial intelligence to optimize energy efficiency in your home. Your local HVAC technician can help with the installation and programming.
An expensive energy bill is not something that should be ignored. If you’re noticing an increase in your energy bills, this could be an indication of a more serious issue. Scheduling a checkup with a reputable HVAC company or technician to make sure your system is running efficiently could save a lot of time and money in the long run.