Energy Saving Tips


As much as half of the energy used in your home goes to heating and cooling, so making smart decisions about your home's heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system can have a big effect on your utility bills ... and your comfort. Take these steps to increase the efficiency of your heating and cooling system.

Change your air filter regularly

Check your filter every month, especially during heavy use months (winter and summer). If the filter looks dirty after a month, change it. At a minimum, change the filter every three months. A dirty filter will slow down air flow and make the system work harder to keep you warm or cool ... wasting energy. A clean filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system  leading to expensive maintenance and/or early system failure.

Tune up your HVAC equipment yearly

Just as a tune-up for your car can improve your gas mileage, a yearly tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency and comfort.

Install a programmable thermostat

A programmable thermostat is ideal for people who are away from home during set periods of time throughout the week. Through proper use of pre-programmed settings, a programmable thermostat can save you about $150 every year in energy costs.

Seal your heating and cooling ducts

Ducts that move air to-and-from a forced air furnace, central air conditioner, or heat pump are often big energy wasters. Sealing and insulating ducts can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20% ... and sometimes much more.

Focus first on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspace, unheated basement, or garage. Use duct sealant (mastic) or metal-backed (foil) tape to seal the seams and connections of ducts. After sealing the ducts in those spaces, wrap the ducts in insulation to keep them from getting hot in the summer or cold in the winter. Next, seal ducts that you can access in the heated or cooled part of the house.

Consider installing ENERGY STAR qualified heating and cooling equipment

If your HVAC equipment is more than 10 years old or not keeping your house comfortable, you should have it looked at by a professional HVAC contractor. If it is not performing efficiently or needs upgrading, consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency heating and cooling units can save up to 20% on heating and cooling costs. But before you invest in a new HVAC system, make sure that you have addressed the big air leaks in your house and the duct system. Sometimes, these are the real sources of problems rather than your HVAC equipment.

Here are some more suggestions for saving energy on heating and cooling:

  • Place heat-resistant radiator reflectors between exterior walls and the radiators.
  • Bleed trapped air from hot-water radiators once or twice a season; if in doubt about how to perform this task, call a professional.
  • Clean warm-air registers, baseboard heaters, and radiators as needed; make sure they're not blocked by furniture, carpeting, or drapes.
  • Use fans during the summer to create a wind chill effect that will make your home more comfortable. If you use air conditioning, a ceiling fan will allow you to raise the thermostat setting about 4 degrees F with no reduction in comfort.
  • Turn off kitchen, bath and other ventilating fans within 20 minutes after you are done cooking or bathing to retain heated air.
  • Insulate your hot water heater and hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.
  • Heating can account for almost half of the average family's winter energy bill. Make sure your furnace or heat pump receives professional maintenance each year.
  • Look for the ENERGY STAR® label when replacing your system.

Please call Beaufort Air Conditioning today to discuss ways to save substantial amounts of money on your annual cooling and heating costs!