There are plenty of steps you can take to improve the efficiency of your home's heating and cooling system. You can monitor the thermostat more closely or opt for fans, windows and other alternatives on days when the weather is nice to use less air conditioning. Get annual checkups for your HVAC system to ensure everything works properly. Reduce your overall energy consumption today by keeping the following tips in mind and sharing them with your family as you go about your day.
Air conditioners can consume a large amount of energy. Here are a few simple steps that could cut down on the amount of energy used.
- Set your AC fan to the "auto" rather than the "on" setting. Using the "on" setting can increase energy costs and make the AC work harder to maintain your desired temperature.1
- Close blinds and shades on sunny days to prevent heat buildup and get the most out of the cool air coming from the AC.
- Try to use natural ventilation when the weather is nice rather than turning on the AC.
- Get regular tune-ups for your HVAC system — twice annually if possible. Spring and fall are good times to have a technician check and ensure your system is running at its best. Tune up your AC before summer and the heater before winter to make sure you're comfortable even on the hottest and coldest days of the year.
Changing your air filters only takes a few minutes and can make a big difference in the amount of energy required for your AC to function properly.
- Change air filters on time. Dirty air filters make your AC work harder than it should and reduces air flow. Take note of when to change your air filter along with the size so you are ready to purchase new ones when the time comes. Can't remember when to change your air filters? The Reliant Filters Made Easy® Program will take care of everything and deliver air filters right to your door.
- Change air filters more frequently if you have pets.
These small adjustments to how you use your thermostat can help you reduce energy use.
- Follow the "four-by-four" principle. Set your thermostat four degrees higher when you're away from home for more than four hours to reduce electricity usage and costs.2
- Use a programmable thermostat that will learn your schedule and automatically make temperature adjustments to conserve energy.
Ceiling fans help circulate the air in a room to make you feel more comfortable.
- Set your ceiling fan to rotate counter-clockwise during the summer to create a wind chill effect.3
- Set the fan to rotate clockwise during winter to push warmer air down.
- Turn off ceiling fans when you leave a room to cut back unnecessary energy usage.
- Install ceiling fans in all rooms that need cooling or use portable fans.
Pay attention to all aspects of your HVAC system, including ductwork and other components involved in HVAC airflow.
- Properly seal ducts to decrease the amount of energy required to heat and cool your home.
- Insulate ducts to increase the overall efficiency of the ductwork.4
- Seal any leaks using mastic sealant or metal tape.
When you need to heat only a small portion of your home for a limited amount of time, use a space heater the smart way.
- Zone heat — only use space heaters in the room or area you are in.
- Buy the right size of heater for the room or area you plan to heat.
- Use a space heater that is thermostat-controlled to prevent wasted energy.
- Turn the space heater off when no one is around. Unattended, the space heater wastes energy and is a potential fire hazard.
1U.S. Department of Energy https://energy.gov/energysaver/home-cooling-systems
2U.S. Department of Energy https://energy.gov/energysaver/thermostats
3U.S. Department of Energy https://energy.gov/energysaver/fans-cooling