Low Cost Ways to Improve Heating and Cooling
Many homes and office buildings (among other public buildings) in the United States today use internal heating and air conditioning systems for climate control, especially during hot summer and cold winter months. Good heating and cooling systems will keep a building at the best temperature, but even a decent system can leak energy and waste money, and a bad one might fail to perform at all, and need costly replacements. HVAC repair services can get an older system up to date or even overhaul the whole unit, and air conditioner repair can be a snap.
The Energy Factor of HVAC
Heating and Cooling systems always need energy to work, and sometimes, if they are old or inefficient, or if the building itself leaks air, then the energy bill will be padded considerably. Even furnace systems can go bad and need furnace repair service. Two thirds of American homes have air conditioning systems, making for tens of millions of AC systems nation wide, not all of which are up to date and running well. And even for a well-operating air conditioner, duct leakage can drain anywhere from 20% to 40% of the system’s energy. To help prevent this inefficient leak of power, it is recommended that a homeowner have his/her HVAC system inspected twice per year, and if an AC system 10 years old or older is replaced, up to 20% of the energy costs could be saved. Getting heating and cooling systems replaced can be costly, but the energy saved can mitigate the costs in the long run, and the system’s performance will feel much better all the while.
Simple Home Solutions
A home’s heating and cooling systems may not need repair or overhaul if they are still working well, but smaller solutions can help ease the strain. According to Central Heating and Air Conditioning, adjusting the HVAC system’s settings and factoring in weather can help out. For example, during a sunny day, especially in summer, shades or blinds can be drawn to block sunlight, since the light will rapidly warm the home’s air and force the air conditioner to keep working hard. Similarly, lamps and other heat generating appliances should be kept away from the thermostat so it isn’t tricked into thinking the house is hotter than it actually is.
The air conditioning’s outdoor unit should be cleaned every so often for debris and other clogging factors to boost its efficiency, and in the home, indoor vents should be vacuumed clear of dust, lint and pet hair, and should never be blocked. This keeps airflow going at its maximum. Finally, adjusting the thermostat lower in winter and higher in summer puts less strain on heating and cooling systems to counteract outdoor temperatures, meaning they have to cool or heat the house less often, and thus save on power.
When to Fix or Replace
When HVAC maintenance is a must, a homeowner, or the owners of a public building, can call on professionals to replace parts of heating and cooling systems, or even the entire infrastructure if it is old enough. Merely clearing ducts and lowering the thermostat will not keep the system in perfect shape forever; ducts can tear and break, dust and grime will build up on internal fans, and the system may short circuit. Even if none of this happens, a given system will become obsolete over time and operate much less efficiently than newer systems. A newer system may need its blower fans cleaned out or its ducts repaired, and a much older system can be replaced entirely. Older ones may not even have computerized schedules for heating and cooling, but newer ones are programmable to function exactly as the building’s owner wants, and are more efficient and powerful in general. And if the newer system is taken care of well enough, it can save a lot of energy and pay for itself in several years, and the heating and cooing it provides will be strong and feel excellent to the building’s occupants.