While setting the thermostat to the right temperatures can improve the comfort of one’s home, it is not the only way to do so. Other ways for a homeowner to minimize energy usage and costs, while improving the overall environment inside of his or her home include:
Wear warmer clothing and consider setting the temperature to lower than 72 degrees to see more savings on energy bills.
Inspect and regularly replace filters.
Get an inspection and furnace tune up before the arrival of winter to get the furnace ready for the season.
Inspect the home for drafts and leaks. Seal up any cracks, holes or gaps in the home’s entryways, walls, and foundation to prevent thermal energy from escaping.
Use weather stripping on doors and windows that are used frequently.
Caulk or seal the windows and any unused exterior doors.
Set the water tank temperature to 120 degrees to reduce thermal energy costs.
Open the curtains or blinds to let the sunlight in to help heat the home.
Rearrange furniture so that no one has to sit where there may be drafts coming in.
Check all pipes and faucets for leaks. Insulate the pipes by covering them with a blanket.
Prior to the cold weather setting in, homeowners should make every effort to winterize their home. Stop playing with the thermostat and get more enjoyment out of your home by making it as energy efficient as possible.
There is plenty you can do to keep your a/c unit clean and working properly longer including keeping an eye on the parts of your unit that are outside of your home. The compressor/condenser unit is usually located outside in your back or side yard area. In most cases it should be about 2 feet away from your home’s foundation. A great way to keep this part of your a/c unit healthy is to keep it free from obstructions.
Many people do not realize how easy it is for these units to be compromised by weeds, grass and debris. Make sure that you check it out at least every two weeks to see if there are any obstructions to do away with. For the best performance try to keep a 2 foot radius of clear space around the compressor, and also trim back trees or bushes that overhang.
Another thing to pay attention to is the duct system that is in your attic and crawl space, this is where a lot of heat can build up throughout the day. Try to get a good look at the areas you can at least 2 times each year to see if there is any tearing in the insulation or seals. Ensuring that these ducts are insulated well will keep the air traveling through them much cooler. Also, looking for any leaks in these ducts can help you save money and not waste cool air in spaces where it is not needed.
I know it’s still hot outside, but winter is just around the corner. I am often asked “Why should I get my furnace checked?” or “Do I really need to have my furnace checked? “The answer is yes, especially if you have gas heat.
One of the main reasons is that it is the best way to insure trouble free operation and avoid problems when you need your furnace the most. Also, because most systems use natural gas there is a possibility of fire or release of carbon monoxide into your conditioned space.
There are built in safeties in place to prevent this, but is important to check them for operation. The gas burners on a furnace shoot flames through tubes. These tubes are called heat exchangers. If there are any cracks or abnormalities in the heat exchanger, the burned gases (carbon monoxide) can mix with your indoor air. Also, if the evaporator coil or blower is dirty, heat buildup in the heat exchanger could cause premature cracking.
In older furnaces, rust and dirt can build up on the burners causing pockets of gas. This creates hot spots on the heat exchanger. An inspection of your heating system can help to prevent these problems. Below are some of the items on the pre-season checklist. Indoor units
Inspect and clean blower assembly (includes blower housing, blower wheel and motor)
On older models, lubricate motor and inspect and replace fan belt if needed
Check combustion blower housing for lint and debris and clean as necessary
Inspect evaporator coil, drain pan and condensate drain lines. Clean as needed
Inspect for gas leaks in gas furnaces
Inspect burner assembly—clean and adjust as needed
Inspect ignition system and safety controls—clean and adjust as needed
Inspect heat exchanger or heating elements
Inspect flue system—check for proper attachment to the furnace, any dislocated sections, and for signs of corrosion. Replace if necessary
Inspect control box, associated controls, wiring and connections
Clean or replace air filters
Inspect conditioned airflow system (ductwork)—check for leaks