An efficient HVAC system keeps your home comfortable and saves you money. The first and most important way to increase the efficiency of your system is to regularly clean and replace your filters. You'll also want to schedule routine maintenance and tune-ups for your entire system including ductwork. Programmable thermostats greatly decrease the load on your system which saves money on bills as well as wear and tear on your system. Finally, although it's a big up front investment, considering a system upgrade will pay off in the long run.
Programmable thermostats can range from a run of the mill electronic thermostat to sophisticated smart thermostats, but one thing they have in common is accuracy and efficiency. Because they're automated once programmed, they offer both convenience and savings. Programmable thermostats allow you to customize your heating and cooling to different times of the day optimizing your HVAC system and cutting costs by keeping your system as efficient as possible. Programmable thermostats have been shown to have approximately a half degree variance in temperatures which is a stark contrast to the up to five degrees of variance that can be seen in manual thermostats. This is hugely important because each degree can account for 1-2% of savings in your heating and cooling bills. Smart thermostats have the added benefit of running on wifi and being accessible anywhere, so you can adjust your heating and cooling even when you're away from home.
While the exact length of time a filter can last depends on a number of variables, a good rule of thumb is to never go longer than 60 days between replacing your disposable air filters or cleaning your washable filters. The state of your air filter greatly impacts the efficiency of your system, so replacing/cleaning your filters is an absolutely necessary part of your HVAC maintenance schedule. Some of the factors that determine the length of time your filter will last are:
Many people often balk at the thought of paying a professional to come inspect their household appliances when they seem to be working perfectly, but professional care upfront can save big in the long run in both money and comfort levels. Maintenance should be scheduled at least once a year. The best time to schedule maintenance is just prior to the time you'll be needing the system the most – so either going into a cold winter or a hot summer. If you;re using the system equally during these seasons, it's optimal to have it maintained in both the spring and fall to ensure 'your heating and cooling are running efficiently. A professional technician will be able to assess your system during inspection, diagnose any issues, and perform any cleaning or repairs that are necessary beyond the routine maintenance you can perform yourself. This will ensure that your system is running at the optimum efficiency and that any problems are caught as early as possible.
In between professional maintenance, you can do your own upkeep to make sure your system is performing at its peak. The most important thing you can do is remember to change your filter regularly – every 30-60 days is ideal. Check the battery in your thermostat and give your thermostat a once over to make sure it's not damaged and that it's working properly. If you have an outdoor unit, make sure it's clear of dirt and debris that can build up and reduce airflow and drainage. You'll also want to make sure the unit is still level at this time. Finally, clean any buildup and debris in and around your indoor unit and ductwork.