HVAC systems usually account for a large portion of a home’s energy use, so anything that can cut down on their energy consumption can lead to significant savings. Fortunately, there are a lot of different things that HVAC experts can do to help save energy. Every system is different, so they all call for a unique blend of optimization techniques, but there are a few methods that will help with almost every system. When in doubt, it’s always best to call in an expert to analyze the system and make sure that the optimization efforts will have the desired effect.
1. Improving Insulation
No system is perfectly efficient. Some energy will always be lost heat passes through ducts to get where it needs to go. That energy is wasted, so it’s best to make sure that as little is lost as possible. Insulation can help with that problem, especially in homes that have exposed air ducts in their basement or another part of the house. It isn’t possible to install enough insulation to completely eliminate waste in most cases, but it can be reduced to the point where it is negligible. The value of this project will vary depending on how many exposed ducts are in the home, but most homeowner should at least consider it and find out how much energy they can expect to save.
2. Updating Parts
Technology is always advancing. Since energy usage has been a major concern in recent years, many of those advancements have made it so that modern HVAC systems use much less energy than their older counterparts. There are enough options that it can be hard for homeowners to decide which one they should choose, so it’s usually best to consult a specialist before making a decision.
That specialist can also help to determine if replacing an old system is worthwhile. In some cases, it can be more effective to repair an old, damaged system than to replace it, or to focus on other ways to save energy. There are a lot of factors to consider, so it’s best to take it slowly and give it the thought that it deserves.
3. Environmental Optimization
The environment inside a home can have a huge impact on the efficiency of its HVAC system. Making a few relatively small changes can save a lot of energy, but it can be hard to figure out what changes to make. Experts can provide tailored guidance, but there are a few rules of thumb that usually work. Keeping lights, ovens, and anything else that produces heat away from the thermostat is vital. They can make the system think the home is hotter than it really is, which leads to excess cooling. It can also help to move blinds and other objects away from vents, since they can easily lead to accidental blockage.
4. Making Repairs
Wear and tear is inevitable. Most HVAC systems need regular maintenance to deal with minor problems, such as clog, dirty filters, or even small leaks in the piping. Allow of those problems can force the system to work harder to heat and cool a house, which causes it to use more energy than necessary. Keeping the system in good repair will eliminate that problem, which minimizes the amount of energy that the system needs in order to do its job. These problems tend to accumulate slowly, so it isn’t necessary to have somebody perform maintenance more than a few times each year. In some cases, such as when dealing with dirty filters, the owner can handle the job on their own once an expert has shown them how to do it properly.