Seven Strategies for Saving Energy At Home
- Replace or clean the main air filter every month. This is important for all forced air equipment, including heat pumps, furnaces and central air conditioners. According to the Department of Energy, clogged return filters increase power consumption by 5 to 15 percent. If you have pets or live in an older home, check the filters more often.
- Thermostats have come a long way since the old mercury types. Trane offers a selection of smart thermostats that automatically adjust the temperature according to your schedule and preferences. Energy Star experts say that efficient thermostat settings can save you $180 annually. Keep the temperature around 78 degrees in the summer and 65 degrees in the winter. Use a setback temperature that's 4 degrees higher in the summer. All systems, except for heat pumps, benefit from setback temperatures that are 8 degrees lower in the winter.
- Heating and air conditioning maintenance should be performed at least once per year. Tune-up procedures vary depending on the type of equipment that was installed in your home, its age, its condition and other factors. For example, a natural gas furnace has a number of components that you won't find in a central air conditioner or heat pump. Checkups prolong the life of equipment and save energy by preventing gradual decreases in efficiency. A qualified contractor can develop an air conditioning maintenance plan that will keep your system in top condition.
- Make sure that your A/C vents are open and free from obstructions. Furniture and long curtains should be at least 6 inches away so that they don't block the airflow. Although most floor registers and ceiling-mounted vents can be closed, they should be kept open even in rooms that are used infrequently. Closed vents make your air conditioner run longer and use more energy because less air is being fed back into the system. The altered pressure forces air to leak out of the ducts. Plus, heated and conditioned air will be robbed from other rooms due to thermal equilibrium.
- Improving your home's insulation can be a tricky business. Many older homes either weren't insulated originally or if so they weren’t insulated well. Some structures used primitive materials that have settled or deteriorated over the years. If your home is drafty, adding insulation to the attic and crawlspace will have the biggest impact. After that, weatherize windows, doors and other drafty areas. Use caulk to seal cracks. Apply foam or felt weather stripping on doorjambs and around window frames.
- Ceiling fans are great energy-saving tools. In the summer, the blades should spin counterclockwise. This creates a wind chill effect that will make the room feel several degrees cooler. In the winter, the blades should spin clockwise. Use the lowest speed setting to push the warm air away from the ceiling without creating an uncomfortable breeze.
- If you want to save energy and increase your comfort, window coverings are your ally. Like ceiling fans, they can help to lower your energy bills in the summer and the winter. During warm weather, reflective shades and light-colored curtains will keep your home cooler by reducing solar heat gain. In the winter, heavy curtains will block drafts, especially if you have older single-pane windows. Open your blinds or curtains during the day to take advantage of the solar energy.
Ways to Save Energy Today
For more energy saving tips, contact your local Trane dealer. A qualified technician can inspect your A/C system and perform any repairs that are needed to boost its performance. Programmable thermostats, air quality products and upgraded HVAC equipment can improve your comfort and save you money. Use our dealer locator feature to find a Trane Comfort Specialist in your area.