During this time of the year, with the shorter days and cooler Phoenix temperatures, we often find ourselves relying more on our home heaters to stay warm and comfortable. This seasonal necessity can sometimes lead to a spike in energy bills, putting a damper on our New Year's cost savings resolutions. The good news is that there are ways to ensure your heater is energy efficient without sacrificing your comfort. We are going to explore the importance of an energy efficient HVAC system and provide valuable tips to help you save on heating costs in the New Year and beyond.
Is Your HVAC System Energy Efficient?
Is your HVAC system energy efficient? The truth is, many people may not really know the answer to this question. If you are trying to determine your unit's level of efficiency, there are some ways to do so.
- Start by defining the AFUE rating. AFUE stands for annual fuel utilization efficiency. It measures how efficiently a furnace converts fuel into energy. A higher AFUE rating means greater efficiency. For instance, a furnace that has a 98% AFUE rating can convert 98% of the energy it consumes into heat. The remaining 2% of the fuel’s energy is lost somehow. Check the user’s manual or the stickers located on your unit for the rating.
- Check the age of your furnace. As your HVAC unit ages, it can become less efficient. Even with the best care and regular maintenance, these systems lose their efficiency with age. Ideally, the average life expectancy of a furnace is between 15 to 20 years. The energy efficiency level of your HVAC systems tends to decline approximately 5% every year.
- Review your energy bills. As we enter into the New Year, many people have resolutions set around finances, and you can start to prepare for cost savings, by evaluating what heating and cooling your home is currently costing you. Look for any sudden and abnormal variations in your energy bills, as they can be indications of some underlying issues with your system.
Energy efficiency is more than just a buzzword; it's a concept that can have a significant impact on both your wallet and the environment. An energy efficient HVAC system is designed to provide optimal cooling and warmth while consuming less energy. It maximizes the cooling and heat output for every unit of energy consumed, helping you stay cozy without breaking the bank. Understanding if your HVAC system is energy efficient is step one to your New Year’s cost savings.
What are the Benefits of an Energy Efficient HVAC System?
Investing in an energy efficient HVAC system comes with several benefits that extend beyond cost savings; however, that is one of the main reasons people choose a system that is energy efficient. According to Energy.gov, “Depending on your region, replacing heating and cooling equipment with higher efficiency equipment can reduce energy use by 50% for electric heating and cooling systems and 10% for gas furnace heating systems (U.S. Department of Energy’s eeCompass guide).”
That cost savings, consistent and reliable comfort levels, and extended lifespan of a more efficient HVAC system, are amongst the top reasons Phoenix and Scottsdale homeowners should seek an energy efficient system.
How can You Maximize Your System’s Efficiency?
Even if your system is energy efficient, or if it is not, there are things you can do to improve its efficiency and increase your cost savings in the New Year. These include:
- Upgrading to a Programmable Thermostat: A programmable thermostat allows you to set different temperatures for various times of the day. This prevents unnecessary heating when you're not at home or while you're asleep.
- Sealing Leaks and Insulating: Ensure your home is well insulated and free of drafts. Seal any gaps around windows, doors, and vents to prevent cooled air and heat loss.
- Regular Maintenance: Schedule annual maintenance for your system. Clean filters, vents, and ducts ensure proper airflow and efficiency.
- Zone Heating: Focus on heating and cooling the rooms you use most. Close vents in unused rooms and use space heaters or heated blankets for localized warmth.
- Dressing for the Season: When it's colder, opt for cozy sweaters and warm blankets to stay comfortable without cranking up the heat.
- Utilizing Natural Heat: Keep your blinds and curtains open during sunny hours to let natural warmth in. Close them at night to retain heat.
- Considering an Upgrade: If your HVAC system is outdated, upgrading to a newer, more energy efficient model can be a wise investment in the long run.
With the New Year here, by embracing energy efficient practices and making smart choices, you can enjoy a warm and comfortable home without the worry of skyrocketing energy bills. Start the year on the right foot by ensuring your HVAC system is energy efficient, and reap the rewards all year long.
Arizona Comfort Specialists can replace your failed or old HVAC system in your Phoenix or Scottsdale home. We can also update your current unit to one of the latest, more efficient units in the industry. We are the heating experts you can trust in Phoenix and the surrounding areas. Contact us today to get started.