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Six Simple Tips to Get the Most Out of Your HVAC System

Temperatures are heating up—and so too are electricity prices. How can you keep costs down, while protecting the environment? Start by considering how to get the most out of your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system.

A central air conditioning system or window units consume a lot of electricity, costing homeowners big in terms of both money and energy. What are some things we can do to improve our energy efficiency, specifically when it comes to our HVAC systems? We have six tips to get the most out of your HVAC system.

Perform routine maintenance. Change air filters, check your dryer vent, keep the vents clear, and look for duct air flow problems. Schedule routine maintenance with your spring cleaning to make sure you are ready for the hot months of summer.

Seal and avoid leaks. This includes checking your home’s insulation, finding the right window coverings, and stopping air filtration by ensuring windows and doors are sealed—both in the winter and in the summer.

Switch your bulbs. Incandescent lighting creates a lot of heat. Get rid of them to cool your home faster. And consider turning your lights off when you don’t need them.

Think about how you use appliances. Cooking is a big source of heat. No-cook meals like salads create the least amount of energy. Another option is to fire up the barbecue and cook outside instead. When looking at washers and dryers, maybe you get an old-fashioned clothesline to dry your laundry instead of powering up an appliance that creates heat.

Buy energy efficient HVAC. When it comes time to buy, shop around! High efficiency motors provide better savings, upwards of 5% on all energy cost, for little or no extra investment.

Operate at the right temperature. A smart meter can help with this, by cooling your house only when you are home (or expected home) and heating it up while you are gone. This can save roughly 15% on cooling.

What are you doing to stay cool this summer? How have you prepared your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems?

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