You’ve lived in Charleston, South Carolina, long enough to know, while it rarely snows, it can get uncomfortably cool in the fall and winter. In cooler seasons, save energy by using a smart thermostat, lowering temperatures at night, wearing layers, and operating an energy-efficient HVAC system.
Buy a Smart Thermostat
With your busy schedule, you might not frequently change your thermostat by hand but, by using a smart thermostat or another programmable thermostat, you can automate energy-saving adjustments. If you return home at the same time every weeknight, you can turn the heat off in the empty house, and preprogram the unit to turn back on without lifting a finger. With smart thermostats, you can even use apps to remotely control temperatures and fine-tune your settings.
Lounge in a Robe and Sleep Under the Blankets
If you take cover under warm blankets at night, you could enjoy restful sleep while saving energy. If you use layers at home, like a robe over your pajamas, slippers, and even sweaters, you can stay comfy indoors at lower thermostat settings.
Split Your Home Into Heating Zones
Newer technology makes it easier and easier to heat only some parts of your home, while leaving unoccupied parts cool. Whether you’d like a smart thermostat that works in conjunction with sensors when you enter a room, or just programmable heating available for various rooms, zoned heating might save you from spending on unused heat.
Try Energy Star Certified HVAC Products
The Department of Energy’s Energy Star program certifies smart thermostats and can help determine which are most compatible with your HVAC system. However, consider evaluating the efficiency of your HVAC system itself, along with your thermostat settings, to maximize energy efficiency.
The Department of Energy rates systems according to Heating Seasonal Performance Factor, or HSPF. An efficient system can raise your room temperature in BTUs, or British Thermal Units, while expending a relatively small amount of electric energy or fuel. In Charleston’s climate, many customers prefer heat pumps over natural gas, because the relative warmth of outdoor air boosts their effectiveness.
Energy Star can help guide you toward air-to-water heat pumps that simultaneously heat your water as they heat your home, minimizing your monthly water bill costs. According to Energy Star, these air-to-water heating pumps can reduce your energy expenses by up to 47%.
Own Energy Star Certified Gas Furnaces
Perhaps you have a gas furnace instead of a heat pump, but don’t worry. Energy Star has certified gas furnaces for efficiency since 1995. In southern states like South Carolina, efficiency improvements through Energy Star certification can reach 11%. In certified furnaces, the Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, or AFUE, will improve and so will the furnace’s blower.
Enjoy Long Term Savings With a Geothermal System
Geothermal heating systems use the least amount of energy to provide heat, and often prove a cost-effective choice for homeowners who want long-term savings. They can prove more durable than both furnaces and heat pumps and require less maintenance, because many critical components enjoy greater protection from weather and debris.
Maintain Your HVAC System
Just as heat can escape the house through unsealed doors, heat can also escape your ductwork through lack of maintenance. Heat pumps have evaporator and condenser coils that build up dust and debris. Thermostats may need adjustment periodically. And if you have a furnace, your gas valve, gas pressure and igniter need regular attention. For both, electrical connections are important, but a maintenance technician can check and repair those.
Change Your Filters on Schedule
Regardless of whether you use a geothermal system, a gas furnace, or a heat pump, you’ll have filters. With all the available options, homeowners might find details of filter choice and filter replacement confusing. However, regardless of whether your HVAC manufacturer recommends once-a-month filter replacements or a different schedule, following the guidelines can help smooth your way in the future.
At AC Heating and Air Conditioning Services, we help Charleston, South Carolina residents take a look at long-term energy savings through smart thermostats and other energy-efficient products while providing high-quality installation, maintenance, and repair. We can help you get your HVAC in shape for fall, so call us at 843-277-9928.
Image provided by Bigstock