Heating and Cooling Your Home Efficiently


By Marisa Hanson, emPower Specialist

We’ve learned about the benefits of air sealing to keep air from leaking into or out of your home, as well as keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter with proper insulation. With these two high-impact, low-cost upgrades done, we’ll take a look at how you can improve the efficiency of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system.

Is your heating and cooling equipment more than ten years old? Does it need frequent repairs? Are your energy bills going up? All of these are signs that it might be time to replace your HVAC system with a newer, more energy efficient model. When selecting new equipment, look for the ENERGY STAR® label. ENERGY STAR products are designed for high performance while using less energy.

Choosing the right contractor to install your new HVAC unit is an important part of the process. Cheaper is not always better when it comes to such a big investment in your home. Similarly, bigger is not always better when choosing your heating and cooling equipment. Properly sizing an HVAC system requires a knowledgeable contractor that understands what is going on with the rest of your house to maximize long-term savings and comfort. In some cases, proper air sealing and insulation could allow you to purchase a smaller, less expensive HVAC unit. Consider choosing an emPower Participating Contractor who is trained to listen and respond to you and your home’s needs.

Once your new HVAC system is installed, routine tune-ups will help your system work more efficiently and last longer. At a minimum, change the filter every three months. During summer and winter, when it’s being used most, changing the filter once a month is even better. Scheduling a qualified technician to check on your HVAC system before the heating or cooling season can also help keep your system performing at its peak and help avoid future problems.

One more way to save is to upgrade to a programmable thermostat. Properly programming your thermostat to adjust your home’s temperature based on when you’re regularly away or sleeping can drive additional energy and cost savings.  

Next month, we’ll bring it all together with the importance of properly sized, sealed and insulated duct work. If you’re ready to make your home more comfortable and energy efficient, find one of our Participating Contractors today!