Efficiency and energy savings are important concepts for many homeowners, but how you accomplish them may differ somewhat between the time of year. Especially in place like Utah, with such varying temperatures and climate conditions throughout a given calendar year, knowing how to adjust your system for maximum efficiency in every season is valuable.
At Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric, we’re here to help. We offer year-round HVAC services that will help keep your system efficient and operating at peak capacity, from air conditioner and furnace maintenance and tune-ups through major system replacement, smart thermostat installation and more. As we enter the fall season, one that’s traditionally used by homeowners to transition their space from the hot Utah summer into the cold, snowy winter, what are some general tips we offer our clients on keeping their systems functioning efficiently? Here are several.
Change Thermostat Settings
When you’ve decided the time is right, one of the big transitional themes during the fall period for your HVAC system is changing your thermostat settings. This takes very little time, requires no HVAC service or maintenance and will save you money on your utility bills.
If you have a programmable thermostat, make sure to change the “hold” function that’s in effect during the summertime. This will keep your system from constantly running when you’re at work or too far away to notice it. If this was not done, and you notice your system is still running during the hours you’re away, even though it’s warm outside and there’s no one home to benefit from it, simply push “hold” for as long as necessary until your next programming session.
If you don’t have a programmable thermostat and would like to invest in one, you’ll receive ongoing energy savings by programming it to adjust the temperature in your home when you’re not there. If you work during the day or tend to be away for long stretches of time, this is a great way to cut big costs on your utility bills.
Change Air Filter
Another huge factor in HVAC efficiency, one that’s present throughout the year, is the presence of clean, high-quality air filters. If one is already present, make sure it’s in good condition and replace it if necessary. Filters do a great job of preventing dust, airborne allergens and other contaminants from entering your system and creating problems for its operation, which will cost you money at best and cause serious damage at worst.
The type of filter you use is also a big consideration. High-efficiency filters will catch more contaminants and reduce the number of times your system must work harder to make up for them, saving you money on maintenance costs over time.
If your ducts have not been inspected or cleaned for several years, the fall is often the ideal time to do it. Dust accumulates faster during the fall months, when your system is working harder to cool down your house before winter arrives, and doing this work on a regular basis can save you hundreds on energy costs over time. Call one of our technicians today for more information about scheduling ductwork maintenance.
Baseboard or Radiant Heater Prep
If your home utilizes baseboard heating, radiant heating or any other method that uses something other than traditional air ducts for late fall and winter heating, the early fall is ideal for adjusting your system settings to accommodate the temperature drop. This mostly means ensuring there are no blockages or dirt buildups in important vent areas — remove furniture or any other potential blockers that might interrupt the flow of warm air once the cold weather eventually hits.
Close Fireplace Flue
If your fireplace flue wasn’t already closed during the summer season, it’s important to do this on a regular basis, especially during the fall months. Keeping the flue open is a safety hazard and ensures all heat is lost up into your chimney instead of your living space — meaning you won’t feel as comfortable as you should due to the fact that some of your heat will be escaping, a factor that also puts a strain on your HVAC system and raises your monthly utility bills.
Lower Dishwasher and Washing Machine Temperatures
As the weather gets colder outside, systems that use hot water — such as your dishwasher, washing machine and others — have to work harder. This is because the water they’re pulling into your home begins at a cooler point than it would during summer, causing your HVAC system to heat it as a supplement. If your dishwasher and washing machine aren’t set to lower temperatures, these tough-working systems will have to burn more energy to manage the load.
For this reason, it pays to lower the temperatures for these machines by just a few degrees once the weather turns cold. You’ll still get the same amount of cleaning results while also helping your HVAC system maintain its energy consumption.
Professional HVAC Maintenance
Finally, the fall is a perfect time to have your HVAC system inspected and maintained by a professional. Ensuring your system is in good working order and fully prepared for the temperature drops and changing weather conditions of winter ensures that you’ll end up saving on energy while also enjoying more comfortable living conditions.
To learn more about HVAC fall energy savings or schedule a visit from our team of service technicians, all you need to do is pick up the phone and call us right now. Call the pros at Action Plumbing, Heating, Air & Electric today.