Residing in Florida, we think of heating much differently than many other areas of the country. In fact, much of the year you probably don’t even use your heating system at all. However, most Florida homes still do have heating systems, 81% of those using a Furnace or Heat Pump for heating.
It is important to get routine maintenance done on not only your Air Conditioning Unit, but your Heater too! While it’s true that we don’t use our heaters as often as those in the northern states do, we know that the last thing you want to happen is to turn your system on only to find it not working.
Never fear though, there are changes you can make— whether it’s simply changing your system’s filter or installing new equipment — you can save energy, save money and help save the Earth.
Homeowners can improve their heating equipment efficiency by taking one or more of the following steps:
The only way to ensure the optimal performance of an air conditioning or heat pump system is to make sure it is installed correctly and then maintain it properly. A system that is not installed or maintained properly will result in reduced efficiency, less humidity control, and deliver less comfort. Look for an HVAC contractor with technicians certified by North American Technician Excellence (NATE).
FACT: Efficiency is more than the rating on the equipment. If a heating and cooling system is not properly sized, matched and installed, it could up to 50 percent less efficient that its performance rating. More than half of all heating systems in U.S. homes do not perform to their rated efficiency as a result of improper installation, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
One the fastest ways to reduce your energy bills is to replace old equipment. There have been a lot of advancements in recent years, making newly installed systems more energy-efficient than those of the past. These are called, “green” systems, and will save you energy, especially if installed correctly. With the breadth of “green” product choices available today, consumers can easily make the right investment for their budgets.
FACT: One in four furnaces in U.S. homes is more than 20 years old. An average life span for an Air Conditioning system is 10-15 years. Some systems do outlive their life span, but can become less energy-efficient and replacing the unit may actually SAVE you money.
Using a programmable thermostat properly can save about $180 a year on home energy bills. By adjusting the temperature merely two degrees, homeowners can save 10 percent on energy bills, without sacrificing their comfort. Set back thermostats when when consumers leave home for the day can result in significant energy savings, with no reduction in comfort.
FACT: Newly-equipped “Smart Thermostats” can save you even more money, being able to give you personalized tips for saving money on your energy bills. For example, what temperature you should set your system to when you’re not home versus when you are home.
Replacing your system’s filter once every one to two months is one of the easiest ways to reduce your home’s energy costs. A dirty filter can greatly reduce a system’s efficiency by causing it to work harder to draw in air.
FACT: Energy cost savings can be 10 times the initial filter cost for a standard pleated filter and four to five times the initial filter cost for higher efficiency final filters. This means filters can pay for themselves by helping to maintain the system’s optimal efficiency.
The harder equipment has to work to heat a home, the higher the energy bills. Although windows, doors, and outside walls contribute to air leakage, the biggest holes are usually hidden from view and connect the house to the attic, crawl space, or basement. Reducing air leakage by sealing ducts and windows typically costs less than $200 for the average home.
FACT: Excess air leakage in homes can increase heating and cooling bills by 30 percent. Gaps and compressed areas of insulation can cut the energy-saving potential of insulation by over 25 percent.
Pledging to be part of the solution by making smart decisions regarding your home heating and cooling systems is a win-win proposition for consumers and the environment.
Give us a call if you have any additional questions about your unit or to schedule an appointment. (352)331-2005