Improving the energy efficiency of your home is a great way to reduce your impact on the environment. With the right tactics and strategies, you can maximize efficiency without sacrificing the comfort of your home. How exactly can you make specific changes that will decrease your energy usage? We have put together a guide with seven tips on how to improve energy efficiency in your home.
Ways to improve the efficiency of your A/C system
1. Set a schedule for your thermostat
It’s helpful to establish a thermostat schedule when you’re home and away. When you are home, keep your thermostat on an automatic setting instead of manually turning up and down your air. By allowing your thermostat to automatically regulate the temperature, your air conditioner will run at more regular intervals. Increase the temperature in your home while you aren’t home to avoid cooling an empty home. By using the automated schedule feature on your thermostat, you can set the system to start cooling your home near the end of your working day before you return home. That way you can return to a cool, comfortable home without wasting energy.
2. Change your air filters every month
Changing your air filters every month is crucial if you want to save energy—no matter what time of year it is. Filters are responsible for cleaning the air in your A/C and in your home. This makes them prone to accumulating dust, dirt, and debris. As the filters gets dirtier, they won’t be able to do their job as effectively. For example, imagine trying to suck water through a straw that’s blocked with ice. Less water will get through, and you’ll have to work harder to take a drink. The same logic applies to filters—the more blocked they are, the harder your A/C will have to work to supply air. Dirty filters not only make your A/C less efficient, but can also lead to larger issues like blower motor failure.
By changing your filters as you should about once every month, you will be doing your part in making sure your A/C system is set up for success. By changing your filters more frequently, you will also be creating a better airflow environment in your home. Dirty filters can also lead to a dustier, dirtier home, which can be problematic when allergy season rolls around. Stay on top of replacing your filters so you can breathe easy!
3. Keep up with annual maintenance
A well-maintained air conditioner is an efficient air conditioner. You take your car in for regular oil changes to keep it running at its best, and the same logic applies to your air conditioner. On average, A/C and heating systems run about 3,300 hours per year in the Phoenix area, which means routine maintenance is required to maintain efficiency, dependency, and safety to prolong the operational lifespan of your system. If saving energy is a priority, make it a point to schedule two maintenance visits per year—one in the cooling season and one in the heating season.
When it comes to A/C maintenance, not all programs are created equal. Larson’s 34-point maintenance clean & check leaves no stone unturned and inspects your system from top to bottom. When you trust Larson with your A/C maintenance, our technicians will get to work on our thorough checklist that includes:
- Measuring refrigerant levels
- Checking refrigerant condition
- Measuring system temperature split
- Testing run capacitors
- Testing condenser motor amperes
- Checking fan blade
- Testing blower fan motor amperes
- Checking blower wheel
- Testing compressor windings
- And more
4. Invest in an Energy Efficient Thermostat
An energy efficient thermostat can actually be programmed to keep your energy usage low. Also called “smart” thermostats, these thermostats can track energy usage from anywhere, adjust automatically with the weather, and can be turned on or off via an app even when you’re away from your home. These are also great because they connect to your Wi-Fi and can therefore be controlled from anywhere.
Other ways to improve the efficiency of your home
5. Invest in Energy Efficient Appliances
This could be a potentially pricey investment initially but replacing your old appliances with newer energy efficient appliances will save you money over time. Like they are labeled, these appliances are designed to use less heat, water, and energy specifically for the purpose of lessening your usage. Appliances that have this option include refrigerators, washer and dryers, water heaters, TVs, etc. Here’s a quick tip – look for Energy Star labels. This is the gold standard for energy efficiency on a variety of appliances.
6. Choose Wisely When Lighting Your Home
There are many different types of bulbs and lighting that are designed to use less energy. By swapping out your old lightbulbs for LED bulbs or others that state they are using less energy, your energy usage should decrease over time. This is because old incandescent lightbulbs contribute heat to your home, making your A/C work harder.
You can further reduce energy usage installing dimmer switches throughout your home, so that your bulbs won’t be burning as brightly or as long as they normally might. Installing these in rooms of your home where the lights tend to be on a light, like in the kitchen or living room, might be very beneficial.
7. Unplug and Turn Off Electronics When Not In Use
Even when a device isn’t turned on, if it’s still plugged in, a slight amount of energy is still being consumed. This goes for lights, blenders, coffee machines, etc. Consider doing a little audit of your home and unplug the devices that aren’t constantly being used.
This also applies to your ceiling fans. If you always run your ceiling fans during the day, make a note to turn them off when you leave the room. Ceiling fans don’t cool the room when you’re not there, and leaving them running is a waste of energy.
Save energy with Larson
Cutting back on energy usage should be a priority for all of us. It’s important to preserve energy when we can. There are many steps you can take that can make a huge difference, including keeping your air conditioner running as efficient as possible with the help of our maintenance services. For any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at 480-428-0600.