Heating and air conditioning accounts for about 56% of a home’s energy usage. Therefore, retrofit measures that improve the efficient production, delivery, containment and preservation of conditioned air will have the greatest impact on reducing your energy consumption.
Proper maintenance of existing HVAC equipment is key to its performance. The simple task of replacing or cleaning return air filters once a month will improve your system’s efficiency. Filters clogged with dust and dirt block the flow of air, causing your system to work harder and use more energy to cool or heat your home. Changing filters regularly also increases the longevity of your equipment and improves indoor air quality.
Advances in technology continue to result in air conditioning and heating equipment that operates with greater and greater efficiency. ENERGY STAR rated products are 10-20% more efficient and can cut costs by as much as 30%. However, ultimately the performance of your furnace, heat pump or air conditioner depends on a number of factors beyond the equipment itself. Before you invest in newer, high efficiency equipment, you should correct any air leakage in your house, make sure there is sufficient insulation, and address moisture control issues.
Installing a programmable thermostat for new or existing equipment will reduce wasted energy by automatically adjusting temperatures at designated times, such as when you are away from home or sleeping.