According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling your home accounts for about 56 percent of your energy costs, and heating water for your home accounts for about 19 percent. Maintaining the HVAC system in your Texas home is essential for keeping your energy bill in check and lowering your carbon footprint. These tips for keeping your HVAC unit in top condition will help you save a considerable amount of money on your annual energy costs.
Schedule preventive maintenance
An annual tune-up for your heating and cooling systems and your water heater is essential for extending their operating lives and lowering your utility costs. Over the course of each season, your HVAC equipment loses its efficiency due to normal wear on the motor, belts and gas and electrical connections. Preventive maintenance on your heating and cooling systems will include checking and cleaning the essential components and inspecting the safety features, as well as checking for energy-wasting air leaks in your ductwork and calibrating your thermostat for accuracy. Annual water heater maintenance will include draining sediment from the tank, cleaning the burner assembly and inspecting essential safety features.
Between annual maintenance service calls, there are a number of tasks you can perform yourself to ensure your systems operate efficiently year round.
Check your HVAC air filter monthly and replace it when it’s dirty. A clogged filter will prevent the optimum flow of air to your system, resulting in frequent cycling and considerably reducing its efficiency. A dirty filter can also cause expensive damage to your system due to dust buildup on the essential components.
Maintain the area around your indoor units. Vacuum around your water heater and furnace regularly to prevent dust from entering the systems. Keep the area around your units accessible in case emergency service is needed.
Maintain your air conditioner’s outdoor condensing unit. Remove plant growth from around the unit and hose it down monthly during the summer to remove debris caught in the fins, which can impede the flow of air to your system and reduce its efficiency.
Remove obstructions from your return and supply registers. Furniture, draperies and other obstructions will prevent the optimum flow of air to your system, reducing its efficiency and lowering your comfort level.
Insulate your water heater’s tank and pipes. Install foam pipe insulation on the exposed hot and cold water pipes, and secure an insulation blanket on the tank to save up to 9 percent on your water heating costs. Check the specs of your system to determine the proper size for the insulating blanket.