Saving Money on Air Conditioning and Heating in Lawton, OK
Keeping your home at a cooler temperature while you are away is a good idea for saving on your energy bills. When you return home, make sure that you don’t make a dramatic increase in the temp to a much higher setting, just to get your home to heat up faster. Not only does this cancel any savings you might have already made, it doesn’t increase how fast your home heats up.
If you put the thermostat as much as 10 degrees higher to heat your house faster, it will just run faster and will ultimately heat up too much, which wastes energy. The best way to bring your home up to the desired temperature is to set the thermostat for that temperature and be patient as your home heats up. Also, keep in mind that for every degree you lower the thermostat, you’ll save as much as 4% on your energy use. That’s why it’s important to set the “at home” thermostat setting for the lowest temperature that is comfortable for you or your family.
Always set the thermostat to a lower temp before you go to bed at night. You can return it to its normal setting as soon you get up in the morning. Even those few hours at a lower setting will show in savings on your monthly energy bills.
A programmable thermostat is a great addition to your current system. Instead of making all these changes manually, you can program the thermostat to make these changes on a daily basis.
Although you’ve undoubtedly heard this before, one of the best things you can do to maintain optimum performance with your furnace is to change or clean the filter each month. If a filter is dirty, your furnace has to work hard to pull air through the filter. If the furnace is working harder, it’s using more energy.
A heat pump requires that the outside condensing coil is clean and free of dirt or debris. Leaves, grass, and weeds can block the airflow, which decreases the efficiency of the heat pump. Make sure the area around the unit is clean and that weeds and grass are cleared in at least a 1-foot perimeter around the system. Also, if you have a heating system that burns fossil fuels, be sure to have a carbon monoxide (CO) monitor or monitors installed in your home. They’ll ensure that you’ll know if the quality of your air has been compromised by the virtually odorless carbon monoxide.
As a system gets older, it begins to decrease in its effectiveness. Most home heating and cooling systems last approximately 15 years. If your system is starting to fail and it is at least 10 years old, this is a good time to look at some of the brand new systems. Heating and cooling systems have improved so much over the past few years, it’s more cost effective to replace a failing system with a brand new, energy-efficient system, rather than nurse the old system through a few more years, paying for emergency services calls as needed. An ACAA professional technician can tell you how fast you will earn back the cost of the new system, and also give you an estimate of possible fixes on the old system, should you decide to keep it.
One of the best ways to keep your heating and cooling system operating at maximum effectiveness is to schedule a yearly or twice yearly maintenance and cleaning appointment with your ACCA professional. The professional technician will change the filter, clean the system when it’s needed and make sure that all the parts are functioning properly. A bi-yearly or yearly inspection includes the following:
- Checking all ducts, joints and seals to make sure they are intact and no air is escaping
- Checking and cleaning humidifiers to make sure they are working properly
- Examine furnace heat exchangers for possible cracks
- Inspect and calibrate controls and safety switches to make sure they are working correctly
- Confirming that the ratio of combustion air going into furnaces and boilers is within range.
- Performing maintenance on heat pumps by checking airflow and refilling refrigerant. A loss of as little as 10% of the cooling refrigerant can raise the energy use and cost as much as 20%.
An ACCA technician can do all of these tasks with a yearly maintenance agreement or PMA. A PMA will usually site provisions for yearly or twice-a-year inspections and maintenance. These agreements can also provide a discounted rate for parts as well as a type of priority response if one of your appliances fails. Whether you do the maintenance or a professional completes it, a properly maintained heating and cooling system can save you money.