Home & Garden Homemaking

6 Tips to Help Your HVAC Run Efficiently

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

6 Tips to Help Your HVAC Run Efficiently

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 ever few years will save you money throughout the seasons. It is as simple as pulling off the old strips and tacking down the new.

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 allows 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.

Other Tips

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.  

 

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