Energy efficiency is a major concern when it comes to your central cooling system. You want to keep your utility bills as low as possible while still enjoying comfortable temperatures within your home. The following are a few upgrade tips to consider for your HVAC system to help improve the efficiency of the your cooling method.
Tip #1: Seal your duct work
Leaking ducts can cause a lot of cool air to pass into the walls and other useless portions of your home, which means your system has to run longer to cool to the set temperature. Duct sealing can fix this issue. You can do minor sealing yourself if much of your ductwork is exposed, such as in a crawlspace or basement. Simply find any openings or loose joints and seal them up with HVAC tape. More in depth sealing is done by professionals, who coat the interior of the ducts with a sealant.
Tip #2: Invest in a programmable thermostat
Chances are you don't need maximum cooling around the clock. Installing a programmable thermostat means you can set your AC to higher temperature when you are out of the house during the day but still automatically enjoy the cooler temperatures when you are home.
Tip #3: Consider cooling in zones
Zone cooling is another option. You can close off rooms and their air vents so that they aren't being cooled because they are unused, which means your system doesn't have to run as long to cool off the whole house. Just make sure the thermostat is not inside of one of the closed off rooms.
Tip #4: Shade your windows
If you're installing new windows, consider opting for energy efficient models with UV blockers. Otherwise, put your curtains to use and close them when the heat of the sun is bearing down upon that side of the house. If you can't stand the loss of natural light, consider installing awnings to cut down on direct sun exposure.
Tip #5: Upgrade your AC
An older AC unit isn't the most efficient option. Upgrading to a newer Energy Star rated air conditioner can help you save more energy and cash. Many utilities and state governments also offer rebates for upgrading to an energy efficient unit. If you live in an area with a moderate to low humidity, you may even want to consider an evaporative cooler, since these use less energy than a traditional HVAC unit to cool the home.
For more help, contact an HVAC contractor in your area.