Utility bills take a large chunk out of your monthly budget. Keeping the unit running efficiently means periodic cleaning plus an annual maintenance check-up from a professional HVAC technician. Help your unit stay efficient with these tips.
Replace Worn Weather Stripping
Image via Flickr by youngthousands.
You don’t want cool air escaping in the summer or warm air sneaking out during the winter. Worn weather stripping creates drafts around doors and windows and lets in outside air. Adjusting your thermostat makes your home more comfortable but drives up your monthly utility costs. Replacing old, worn weather stripping every few years will save you money throughout the seasons. It is as simple as pulling off the old strips and tacking down the new ones.
Change the Filter
The filter on your HVAC system traps dust, dirt, and other contaminants, giving you better air quality in your home. Monthly checks help you know when the filter is too clogged to work properly. The best filters help with both air quality and keep your HVAC system running well. The disposable, pleated, high-efficiency filters not only keep the dirt at bay but trap viruses and bacteria as well.
Clean the Condensate Pipe
Air conditioning condensate pipes occasionally clog with algae and dust and prevent water from draining. The water builds up and spills over, causing problems with your home’s foundation and encouraging mold growth. Water drips slowly from the condensate pipe when the A/C unit is running. If there is no drip, use a shop vac to clear the pipe or let an HVAC technician handle the task.
Get a Maintenance Contract
An annual professional maintenance check-up helps prevent major problems from shutting down your unit during the hottest or coldest times of the year. Most HVAC technicians recommend at least a spring tune-up for a well-functioning air conditioner. The tech thoroughly cleans your system and checks for worn parts. Replacing parts before they break keeps your family comfortable year-round.
Stop Sneaky Air Leaks
Small gaps around pipes and cables coming into your home not only lets air escape but allow mice and insects an easy entrance. Examine the caulking around pipes and lines and if needed, re-caulk those areas for a better seal. Another place to check is around your electrical boxes on exterior walls. Gaps there also let outdoor air in. Use cover plates and fill in small gaps with acrylic latex caulk. For large holes, use an expanding foam sealant.
Use ceiling fans to keep air circulating through a room. In the winter, reverse the blade direction to drive warm air down. Plug in a portable heater or use a gas fireplace for extra warmth rather than turning up the thermostat in the winter. For every degree below 70 degrees, you turn your thermostat, you save three percent on your monthly heating bill. A space heater does not cost nearly as much to run as your furnace.
Every little step you take helps keep your unit running more efficiently and saves you money on your monthly utilities. Don’t forget to schedule an annual maintenance visit either. Your unit needs a yearly check-up to run at its very best.
How much does a HVAC service cost?
This Is great! I didn’t realize I could do so much on my own – thank you!!!
It’s soo important to make sure your HVAC is up and running constantly! So important to check on it and I think it’s safe to say we forget about it once in a while – I know I do anyway haha!
I never thought to schedule maintenance…..uh oh!
I guess I should be luck since we don’t have HVAC in my neck of the wood but these are some good tips
This is some really good advice. It is going to save so much money and trouble in the long run.
These are great tips. I usually leave all the to my husband, but I did know about changing filters.
These are great tips, we do most of them. Actually Babe does but it counts. What we do need to do is check and change any worn weather stripping.
We are remodeling an older home and keep finding small air leaks. We are fortunate enough to have lots of trees to keep the temp down and not cause the AC bill to go up too high, but I can’t wait for the day it is all updated.
Keeping the HVAC clean and regularly replacing the filters help keep electricity costs low. It also prevents the growth of viruses, molds and bacteria which may cause illness in the family. Thanks for these tips.
Agree, cleaning and maintenance is important in keeping the HVAC efficient. It’s more expensive when it comes to electricity when the filters are not clean.
These are all great tips! My brother happens to work for Trane, and I’ve heard all of these tips on more than one occasion! 🙂
I do all of these things as I transition to fall. I rent an apt and was lucky to finally have new windows put in. With the old windows, I had to caulk and put plastic over them.
I actually need to get our HVAC system tuned up. I like to do that before winter gets going. These are great tips for a smooth HVAC system.
Making sure your HVAC system is working properly is important to home efficiency! I make sure to change the filter regularly.
Pretty sure my husband does all of these things. Going to show him this post just in case he has forgotten something.
Thank you for the reminder. We actually just changed the filter not too long ago. We waited wayy too long to do that, because it was GROSS. We really need to be changing it out more often.
We need to change our filter pretty soon. This is a good reminder to do it. Before winter comes I want to make sure everything is cleaned up and ready for when I have to turn the heater on.
What great tips. I’ve never tried to do these myself, but now I realize I could save myself tons of money by following these tips! Thanks for sharing
That first tip of changing the filter is a HUGE money saver and really does help your unit run more efficiently. Hubby always buys 2 or more when he buys filters so we always have one on hand and he routinely changes the filters once a month. It’s amazing how much gunk accumulates on those filters within a month.
Ugh! Thanks for the reminder. I am so bad about changing my filter, but I know it has to be done for things to work right.