Summer is on the horizon and the Washington, D.C. area can expect hot and humid weather in the coming months. As outdoor temperatures climb upwards into the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, homeowners in the DMV will be switching from heating to cooling.
Is your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system ready for the transition?
With a few simple maintenance activities, you can save money on your electricity bills by ensuring your HVAC unit is ready for summer and operating efficiently. And that savings can add up, considering how often your air conditioning unit runs during the summer months.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that space cooling accounted for 15% of U.S. residential sector electricity consumption last year. Aside from the cost of cooling your home, the cost to repair or replace your HVAC system can add up.
Follow these routine maintenance tips to prolong the life of your home’s HVAC unit, keep it running efficiently and save money on your summer electric bills:
1. Regular Maintenance
Schedule a semi-annual maintenance appointment with a licensed HVAC professional. With preventative maintenance, you can uncover any small issues before they evolve into more significant problems that are harder and more expensive to fix.
2. Improve energy efficiency
A regular maintenance schedule will ensure that your HVAC is working as efficiently as possible—leading to less energy use. Additionally, a well-insulated home will require less cooling in the spring and summer.
3. Clean or replace air filters frequently
A dirty air filter reduces the efficiency of your HVAC system and negatively effects your home’s indoor air quality. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends that air filters be replaced or cleaned every two months—although if you have pets, you may need to change them more frequently.
4. Keep indoor vents open
Closing vents and registers in your home creates extra pressure and causes your HVAC system to work harder—decreasing energy efficiency and increasing the strain on your HVAC system.
5. Use a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat allows you to control your home’s temperature to avoid excessive energy usage on space cooling and allows you to lower usage during times when your home is unoccupied.
Implement these tips to reduce your home’s energy consumption, improve energy efficiency and save money on your electric bills.