Happy Earth Day! Here at Service Experts, we believe that it's vital to do our part to protect the planet. That's why we're offering some tips on how you can make your home's HVAC system more energy efficient.
What Is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a day to celebrate the environment and increase awareness about the importance of taking care of it. It's also a day to find out more about what we can do to protect the environment. One way we can all help the environment is by improving our homes’ energy efficiency. Did you know that your home's HVAC system is one the biggest energy users in your home? In fact, according to the Department of Energy, heating and cooling account for around 48% of the energy use in a typical American home.
How can you tell how much energy your HVAC system is currently using?
One way to tell is to look at the SEER rating of your system. SEER, or Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, measures how much energy your system uses to cool your home across the cooling season. The higher the SEER rating, the more efficient your system is. For a new air conditioner, the SEER rating needs to be at least 13. If you're looking for an ENERGY STAR®-certified system, the SEER rating must be 14.5 or higher.
In addition to SEER, you can also find the AFUE rating of your furnace. AFUE, or Annual Fuel Utilization Efficiency, reveals how much of the fuel your furnace uses is actually turned into heat for your home. The higher the AFUE rating, the more efficient your furnace is.
While there is not a minimum AFUE rating required by law, most new furnaces have an AFUE rating of 80% or higher. And if you're searching for an ENERGY STAR-certified furnace, the AFUE rating must be 90% or higher.
So what are some things you can do to make your HVAC system more energy efficient?
-Install a smart thermostat: A smart thermostat may help save you up to 30% on your heating and cooling bill.
-Make sure your HVAC system is properly maintained: Routine maintenance can increase the efficiency of your system by up to 15%.
-Find an ENERGY STAR-certified model: If you're in the market for a new HVAC system, find one that has the ENERGY STAR label. These models are at least 15% more efficient than other models.
-Check on the insulation levels in your attic: Adequate insulation in your attic can help reduce the amount of heat that escapes from your home, which means your HVAC system won't have to work as hard to keep your home comfortable. According to the EPA, well insulated attics can save you an average of 15% on your energy bill.
-And lastly, remember to change your air filter: A dirty air filter can make your HVAC system work up to 15% harder. This means it's using more energy and costing you more money.
How much money can you save by upgrading to a new system?
The Department of Energy estimates that a new air conditioner with a SEER rating of 16 can save you up to 20% on your cooling costs. If you use an older system with a SEER rating of 10, you can save up to 50%.
For a new furnace, the Department of Energy estimates that an AFUE rating of 90% could save you up to 30% on your heating costs.
So, this Earth Day, we encourage you to consider ways you can make your home's HVAC system more energy efficient. Not only will it save you money, but it will also help the environment!