When your family spends hundreds or even thousands of dollars on air conditioning every year, DIY projects can go a long way toward improving HVAC efficiency and lowering your utility bills. Not sure which projects will make the biggest difference in your St. Charles, Louisiana, home? From tidying up the outdoor landscaping to setting the thermostat properly, try these five DIY ways to improve HVAC efficiency.
Tidy Up Outdoor Landscaping
When you’re thinking about improving HVAC efficiency, your first instinct might be to focus on the air conditioner itself. Instead, the Bryans United Air Conditioning team recommends starting outside. After all, the exterior HVAC unit works just as hard as the interior component does.
To ensure that the outdoor unit can operate as efficiently as possible, start by cutting back any bushes, shrubs, flowers, or even trees from the unit’s immediate vicinity. Leave a 3-foot radius around the unit to ensure that nothing obstructs the airflow. Throughout the cooling season, make sure that no leaves or sticks block the airflow and cut back any grass or other growth that gets in the way.
Change the Air Filter
Inside, you’ll want to start by changing the air filter for your heat pump or air conditioner. The filter is responsible for keeping dust and other airborne contaminants from accumulating inside the HVAC system. The filter also traps pollutants before they can recirculate through your home’s air supply. As a result, filters can get clogged quickly, slowing down HVAC operation.
Make a point of changing the air filter at least every three months. During peak cooling season, try replacing the filter every month to ensure optimal efficiency.
If you notice more serious indoor air quality issues like high humidity, excessive dust, and stale air, get a professional opinion from our team. We’ll recommend the right HVAC add-on to improve air quality problems and HVAC efficiency at the same time.
Keep the Sun Out
Whether you love the seemingly endless sunlight that summer brings or you want to make the most of limited natural light during the winter months, you might be inclined to keep the curtains or blinds open. While doing this certainly brightens your home, it can also make your home hotter and force the HVAC system to work harder.
To increase efficiency in the summer months, make a point of closing curtains and blinds on south- and west-facing windows during the day. You’ll prevent a surprising amount of solar heat gain, and you’ll give the HVAC system a break at the same time.
Open All the Vents and Registers
If you don’t use every room in your home on a daily basis, you might have a habit of keeping those seldom-used areas closed off. What you might not realize, however, is that your HVAC system will work to cool your entire home whether or not you’ve closed those vents. In fact, keeping select vents and registers closed could make the HVAC system work harder to reach those spaces.
To ensure that your cooling system runs as efficiently as possible, keep all the vents and registers open, even in rooms that don’t get much use. Talk with our team about zoning systems, which divide your home into distinct cooling areas, each with its own thermostat.
Set and Forget the Thermostat
To achieve optimal HVAC efficiency, you’ll need to strike a balance between programming the right cooling schedule into your thermostat and adjusting it when necessary. Adjusting the thermostat constantly won’t help the HVAC system operate efficiently, and leaving it at the same temperature around the clock can cause high levels of wasted energy.
Our team recommends investing in a smart thermostat and programming your family’s cooling schedule into the device. Set back the temperature 8 to 10 degrees for at least eight hours a day while the family is sleeping or out of the house. You’ll reduce the stress on the HVAC system while saving energy at the same time. If you need to make an occasional schedule adjustment, just log in from your smartphone to make a quick change.
When your HVAC system needs professional attention, don’t hesitate to contact our team. Call Bryans United Air Conditioning at 504-208-2071.
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