Winter weather can be just as challenging as summer conditions for a Beaumont household, and reliable heating is an important factor in looking out for your family’s well-being. As heating demands increase, however, an inefficient heating system can drain your bank account as the utility bills follow.
Texas had the 5th highest energy usage per capita in 2012, an issue that can be greatly attributed to factors such as home comfort management. Following are four hot tips for maintaining your system’s efficiency and minimizing your impact on these statistics in the future.
Invest in an HVAC Maintenance Plan
It’s easy to put off regular maintenance tasks. Whether it is an oil change for your vehicle or a tune-up for your heating system, forgetting to schedule service can have serious consequences later on. Your heating tune-up is important for ensuring maximum energy efficiency during winter weather. It is also a critical safety step, especially if you have a combustion system in place. During a heating tune-up, your HVAC technician will:
- Inspect all system parts and controls, noting issues that require repair or replacement
- Clean heat exchangers, sensors, and other parts as needed
- Tighten connections as needed
- Check for leaks related to gas lines and emissions
- Test airflow and electricity draw
Without regular HVAC care, you can expect a reduction in system efficiency of about 5 percent annually, making this an important step for maintaining maximum performance for the life of your system.
Manage Humidity Levels
It may seem surprising, but just as high summer humidity levels can make your indoor air feel hotter, the low humidity levels of the winter months can cause your indoor environment to feel colder. By maintaining your home in the recommended range of between 30 and 50 percent relative humidity, you’ll feel more comfortable at cooler temperatures.
By supplementing your home’s heating system with a humidifier, you may be able to reduce your temperature settings by an average of 1 to 2 degrees. Each degree of change can represent approximately 1 percent of change in energy demands for your home, a helpful way to increase your home performance levels.
Program Your Thermostat
Turning off the heating system during the day can be both inefficient and costly. Instead, ENERGY STAR recommends using a programmable thermostat with deliberate changes selected based on household activity levels. Using 68 degrees as a guideline, you can drop your settings by 8 degrees during periods when there’s less activity in your home.
Turning the system off can lead to significant energy loss that could stress your heating equipment as you raise temperatures later. With a programmable thermostat, you can enjoy the benefits of reduced energy usage and more manageable bills without harming your system.
Replace Your Filter
A dirty filter can be one of the most common problems for your heating and cooling equipment. Failing to change your filter in a timely manner can lead to system malfunctions. It can also represent up to a 15-percent reduction in the energy efficiency of your equipment. Install a clean filter before operating your heater for the season, and check the condition of the filter at least once per month.
Brettco Heating and Air Conditioning is available for your maintenance needs if you are dealing with efficiency issues. We also offer 24/7 service for emergency system problems. If you need more information or are ready to schedule service, call our office for an appointment.