Learn about what steps you can take to improve your heating and cooling system's performance this winter.
Heating and cooling your home takes a big chunk out of your allotted family budget. Start making smart decisions about how to keep your house warm, well-ventilated and comfortable during the cold months so it can have a positive impact on your utility bills.
Invest in a new heating and cooling system
A new heating and cooling system is a good investment because it means lower operating costs. Even if there is a higher initial purchase price – if optimal efficiency is what’s at stake – then getting a new one is never a bad decision. Your efforts for making regular maintenance on a new HVAC unit, for example, will be so much more worth it than just conducting quick-fix remedies for a 20-year-old unit. Of course, there are always limits to your budget so it is important to research on the best possible quality/price ratio that each brand offers.
Consider getting an energy-efficient heat pump
A heat pump is similar to an air conditioner, but it also provides space heating during winter. When used in conjunction with your HVAC unit, an energy-efficient heat pump can provide both: year-round climate control for your home as well as guilt-free comfort – both in the dead of the winter and during hot summer evenings – without breaking the bank.
Minimize your energy costs without reducing luxurious comfort any season of the year by making sure your heat pump works at its optimum efficiency:
- Lowering your thermostat by a degree will give you up to 3% savings on your energy bill.
- If it is possible to turn your thermostat down by 4 degrees at night without freezing your pipes or subjecting you to hypothermia, then that would mean a 10% cut on your next utility bill.
- Warm the house during the day by opening the window treatments to let in the sun’s heat and light.
- Prevent air leakage by installing insulation pads behind all electrical outlet plates.
- Help stop cold drafts and heat loss by replacing worn or missing caulk around exterior windows and doors.
Does blocking off air registers and vents maximize the heat pump’s capabilities?
Your heat pump system is designed to meet your home’s heating requirements. Contrary to popular belief, blocking off air registers and vents can minimize its mechanical performance and efficiency which in turn can actually raise your energy bill. This means you also have to make sure your vents are not blocked by any type of window treatment, furniture, accessories or other obstructions. Closing off vents may also prompt increased suction in the return air ducts. If there are cracks around your windows and exterior doors that you’re not aware of, this will result in higher cold air infiltration – costing you more than you thought you would save.
Get a programmable thermostat
Installing a programmable thermostat in your home will save you time and effort from manually changing your settings throughout the day – and give you peace of mind, for that matter – especially when you’re always doing overtime work in the office or have gone away for a vacation.
A programmable thermostat will let you run a scheduled heating and cooling program – taking into consideration your daily schedule and desired temperature level. For example, some people like to sleep in a cool house even during winter season. If this is the case at your home, then you might want to lower your thermostat setting about an hour before your actual bedtime so it will be cool and comfortable by the time you go to bed. Likewise, set your thermostat on to a higher setting about 1-2 hours before you get up so the house is nice and warm when you wake up.