HVAC systems represent the largest share of the average home’s energy usage in Santa Rosa, CA. That’s important to know since our energy costs here are consistently higher than the national average. Improving the energy efficiency of your home’s HVAC can save you significant sums. Fortunately, there are plenty of excellent ways to do this. Some require minimal upfront investments, and others cost a bit more. Here are the top nine HVAC energy savings tips you can use right now.

1. Schedule Hvac Maintenance

Although you might not realize it, your home’s HVAC system loses significant efficiency as it ages. Simple wear and tear and minor undetected problems can have a significant negative impact. That makes regular HVAC maintenance one of the best ways to help your HVAC conserve energy. Ideally, you should have two maintenance appointments each year. One should happen before the cooling season begins and the other before the heating season. Preventative maintenance allows one of our HVAC technicians to clean, lubricate, and adjust your HVAC as needed. Plus, they’ll let you know if they spot any signs of unusual wear and tear or a pending part failure. That way, you can deal with it before it can waste energy or lead to a system failure.

2. Improve Your Home’s Insulation

Another excellent way to save energy while using your HVAC is to upgrade your home’s insulation. The logic behind this one is simple. By keeping conditioned air inside your home where it belongs, your HVAC won’t have to work as hard. One of the most common targets for insulation upgrades is your attic. For one thing, it’s typically easy to access. For another, it’s one of the most likely places where conditioned air may escape your home. Of course, you can also add insulation to your home’s exterior walls, but that’s a much more significant investment. According to the EPA, simple insulation upgrades can cut as much as 15% off your HVAC energy usage.

3. Install and Use Ceiling Fans

There are a few essential reasons why HVAC systems consume so much electricity. In the summer, your air conditioning must engage a compressor that uses a lot of power. And, all year round, your HVAC’s blower motor must work hard to distribute conditioned air. So, anything you can do to improve your home’s airflow will help cut your HVAC energy use. It turns out that ceiling fans are perfect for that task. In the summer, ceiling fans can make you feel more relaxed than your home’s indoor temperature suggests. On average, ceiling fans allow you to turn up your thermostat by four degrees with no noticeable comfort impact. And when you run them in reverse in the winter, ceiling fans push hot air down from your ceilings. That reduces the need for extra heat by making you more comfortable.

4. Air-Seal Your Ducts

No matter how efficient your home’s HVAC is, your home’s ductwork can be its undoing. Over time, the ductwork that carries conditioned air around your home can deteriorate. Failing ductwork can lead to air leaks and obstructions that harm your HVAC efficiency. According to the US Department of Energy, residential HVAC systems can waste up to 30% of the energy they consume this way. When your ducts are repaired and air-sealed, it can restore your HVAC efficiency. It can also prepare your home to support a more efficient HVAC in the future.

5. Install Thermal Blinds and Curtains

A big part of HVAC efficiency revolves around managing the heating and cooling your home requires. Installing thermal blinds and curtains on your home’s windows is an excellent way to do this. You can use them in the summer to block strong sunlight and lower your home’s heat load. In the winter, you can leave them open during the day to allow as much natural heating as possible. Then, you can close them at night to trap that heat inside and lower your demand for extra heat.

6. Install a Smart Thermostat

Installing a smart thermostat is perfect if you’re looking for a simple way to lower your HVAC energy usage. If you purchase an ENERGY STAR-certified smart thermostat, you can expect it to cut your HVAC bills by at least 8%. Some more advanced smart thermostats claim to do even better than that. Nest’s smart thermostats claim they can cut your HVAC costs from 12% to 15%. Also, Ecobee’s best models advertise it can cut your HVAC costs by up to 26%. In short, smart thermostats offer an inexpensive way to boost your existing HVAC system’s efficiency significantly.

7. Clean Around Your Outdoor Unit

Another excellent way to trim your HVAC energy usage is to clean up around your HVAC’s outdoor unit. It depends on having plenty of unobstructed space around it to facilitate heat transfer. Ideally, you want two to three feet of clear space around your HVAC outdoor unit. Regular cleanup is critical if there’s less space than that because of its installation location. You’ll want to avoid debris or residue from your outdoor unit and its interior. Keeping your outside unit clean is important all year but is especially critical before the cooling season begins.

8. Create Shade Around Your Outdoor Unit

You can also reduce energy usage by creating shade around your HVAC’s outdoor unit. The best way to do this is by planting shade trees close enough to keep the sun off of the unit. You shouldn’t use any shrubbery near the unit itself to create shade. That could harm airflow around the unit and cancel any benefits the shade creates. According to the US Department of Energy, an HVAC operating in the shade can reduce energy usage by up to 10% versus the same unit in the sun.

9. Install a More Efficient HVAC System

Finally, the best way to trim your HVAC energy usage is to upgrade to a more efficient HVAC. A newer HVAC system is especially effective if your existing HVAC is nearly 20 years old. Not only do older HVAC systems lose efficiency over time, but they’re likely far less efficient than modern ones. Newer HVAC systems feature advanced technology and must meet stricter efficiency standards. You can even upgrade your HVAC to a heat pump to maximize your year-round energy savings. Homes with heat pumps can use up to 50% less energy than those with conventional HVAC systems.

Your Local Hvac Energy Savings Experts

Since 1988, KC Home Services has offered quality HVAC services to Santa Rosa residents. We provide HVAC installation, repair, and maintenance services, including working with heat pumps and mini-splits. Plus, we offer comprehensive plumbing services, too. With three decades of industry experience, we can be your best home infrastructure ally. We even offer financing on approved credit to help you afford the HVAC efficiency upgrades you need. So, if you need HVAC maintenance or a new HVAC installation in Santa Rosa, call our experts at KC Home Services immediately!

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