In the majority of areas across the country, the cost of heating and cooling add up to approximately fifty percent of the household energy bills.
The operation of the air conditioner and heating system have a big impact on both the budget and the environment. Every homeowner hopes to trim utility costs. While air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, boilers and all heating/cooling units with higher efficiency ratings come with a higher price tag, they pay for themselves by way of lower energy costs. Taking good care of the equipment helps to minimize expenses. With regular filter replacements and seasonal maintenance, the system resists malfunction, lasts longer and operates more efficiently. Ductwork is a common source of energy waste. In most homes, the duct system allows up to thirty percent of conditioned air to escape through cracks and holes. These flaws also draw in outside air, fumes and contaminants. It’s important to have the ductwork inspected and tested every five to ten years. There are also energy saving measures that work to tighten up the home, prevent drafts and create a more efficient thermal envelope. New windows are a significant investment but often prove cost-effective. Windows are the main source of energy loss. Upgrading to Energy Star rated, thermal pane, low E windows can help with heat gain/loss and reduce the workload on the heating and cooling systems. Carefully caulking around windows, filling cracks with foam insulation and adding weatherstripping to exterior doors are inexpensive strategies to stop drafts from coming in and conditioned air from leaking out. For many homeowners, the attic is a source of energy waste. The attic is designed as a barrier against the outdoor elements but only proves effective when properly insulated. Another option is ceiling fans. In the summer, ceiling fans help to create a cooling effect. Reversing the rotation of the blades in the winter redistributes heat and prevents it from becoming trapped near the ceiling.