Up to half of your energy usage goes to heating and cooling. The efficient heating and cooling Jacksonville, FL residents want to achieve does not always mean a big up-front cost. You may believe you have to invest in a central air conditioner to gain efficiency, but that is not always the case. As Theodore Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” Even without buying a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner, you can save money and heat and cool your home efficiently. Here is how to be energy efficient all year long.
Energy efficiency falls into two principal areas: habits and hardware. Good habits will help you lower your heating costs almost as much as changes or improvements to the hardware inside of your Jacksonville home.
Monthly Habits—Change your air filter every month. Vacuum or dust off the HVAC system every month, too. Sensitive electronics on the furnace or boiler can be harmed by dust, and vacuuming the floor of the room in which your system sits will give you an early indication of leaks. If you own a heat pump, cleaning around its coils and fan regularly will keep it operating efficiently all year long.
Yearly Habits—Get your HVAC system inspected, cleaned and serviced every year. This will prevent small repairs from growing into major problems, and improve the equipment’s efficiency. Annually review your energy outlays to see if a detectable pattern emerges. You may be seeing a subtle but steady rise in consumption, indicating a problem such as leaky ducts or a clogged burner.
Hardware Help—While ensuring that your furnace, boiler or heat pump receives an annual checkup, you may be overlooking the advantages of a service plan or maintenance agreement.
Another wise, but inexpensive investment, is a programmable thermostat, sporting the Energy Star label. The federal Energy Star program ensures that the product meets standards for energy efficiency. This is a do-it-yourself installation, or you may prefer to have a professional HVAC contractor install it to work perfectly with your system.
Completely sealing your home’s ducts can immediately boost heating efficiency by around 17 to 20 percent (the amount of heated air lost through most faulty ductwork). That’s like getting a dollar back out of every five you spend on fuel or electricity.
The real boosts in energy efficient heating and cooling Jacksonville, FL homeowners can achieve come from investing in a new system. Replacing your old furnace with a condensing gas furnace can shave 20 percent off your energy consumption. The expense of installation can usually be recovered from the energy savings within three to five years, depending on how heavily you use the equipment. Since a furnace has a life expectancy of around 20 years, this could mean long-term savings and the big boost in energy efficient heating and cooling Jacksonville, FL homeowners desire.
When paying for heating and cooling, Jacksonville, FL homeowners wisely watch their energy dollars, but it is with cooling that energy costs can quickly spiral out of control. Thermostat wars become an expensive habit; the seductive comfort of ever-cooler indoor temperatures can slowly turn your River City home into an expensively chilled arctic zone. Energy efficiency in cooling falls into two areas: patterns and prevention.
Patterns—Get into seasonal patterns that promote energy efficiency. Put off switching the air conditioning system on for a few weeks if a whole-house fan or ceiling fans will suffice. Energy Star-rated ceiling fans, water coolers and dehumidifiers can go a long way toward keeping your River City home comfortable.
When you do run the air conditioning, do not put it on short-cycle bursts, or avoid using it until the heat of the day and then expect it to suddenly cool everything down. That is inefficient and puts a strain on your system. Instead, invest in a programmable thermostat and set (and forget!) the various time settings (overnight, morning routine, empty house, afternoons) to make the most efficient use of your cooling dollars.
Prevention—Your Jacksonville air conditioning system will work harder, for more days, than your furnace or boiler. Since a heat pump works during heating and cooling seasons, it may work the hardest of any HVAC system. So, prevent problems by keeping your cooling equipment serviced by a reliable, professional HVAC contractor. Have your air conditioning system inspected at least annually, and your heat pump as often as the manufacturer recommends.
Check filters on either air conditioner or heat pump biweekly during the cooling season.
For more help heating and cooling Jacksonville, FL area homes, contact us at Snyder Heating & Air Conditioning today.