The HVAC industry (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) is one that’s difficult to understand unless you specialize in the field. But saving money on your HVAC doesn’t have to be hard. Today, we help you learn easy ways to save. Some of these involve an investment, but some are changes you can make with the family to cut down bills bit by bit.
Get Efficient Equipment
First, the best way to have an air conditioner and heater that saves money is to make sure the equipment is efficient in the first place. This advice doesn’t apply to those of you with furnaces and air conditioners that are only a few years old, but we’ll have those tips coming up. If your comfort system is 10-15 years old and costing a lot to run, it’s time to think about an upgrade.
For high-efficiency heating systems, look for an AFUE (Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency) of about 90 or higher. However, keep in mind that electric furnaces can still cost a lot to run regardless of fuel efficiency rating due to the higher cost of electricity. For high-efficiency air conditioners, look for a SEER rating of about 15 or higher.
Change the Temperature
We thought we’d follow up with something a little simpler. This may seem obvious, but you may just need to change the thermostat settings. If you’re spending hundreds on air conditioning in the summers, think about it: do you really need to keep the AC at 72°F or can you tolerate 78°? Does the heat have to be at 77°F or is 70° sufficient?
Don’t Fluctuate Temperatures Too Much
It is possible to get too picky about the temperature in your home, making so many adjustments throughout the day that you actually wear down the AC or heater more (even when you’re trying to save). When you get home from work on a cold evening, you turn the heat up as far as you can. Then, as you get comfortable, you lower the temperature by quite a bit. Later, you feel chilly and turn it up again, but you lower the temperature right before bed—and the cycle repeats.
Turning the temperature up higher won’t heat the home any faster (and the same is true of lowering the thermostat too much in the summer). It’s much better to use a Wi-Fi thermostat to keep temperatures steady for much of the day, while programming a change by 5-10°F while you are away at work.
Upgrade to a Wi-Fi Thermostat
The best way to keep those temperatures under control is with a Wi-Fi thermostat. The clear display and remote options make it easy to set a schedule from an application on your phone that is easy to use. The best Wi-Fi thermostats help you to learn where you are wasting energy and find out what temperatures are most efficient in your area or at certain times of the day. Best of all, you can change the thermostat settings when you’re away (in case you forget to change them), making it so much easier to save over time.