When it comes to going green, much of the press focuses on incandescent lights and gas guzzling cars, trucks and SUV’s. And for good reason—they do indeed make quite the carbon footprint. But to be fair, you must take a close look at the HVAC system in your home if you are truly going to take this “going green” thing seriously. Here are four great ways to green up your HVAC system and also put some green back in your wallet!
1. Buy a new HVAC system.
We all know how expensive HVAC systems are. The install is thousands of dollars in and of itself and that doesn’t even include the system! Plus, when you replace your gas furnace it often makes sense to replace your central air conditioning unit as well. Or perhaps you have a heat pump instead, which means only one unit, but still not cheap. The thing is, if you haven’t checked out heat pump reviews for a while you would be amazed at how far these things have come along in terms of efficiency. The same goes for furnaces and AC units. What was 8 SEER less than a decade ago can now be 20-22 SEER and save a ton in electricity. An expensive option to be sure, but the savings can be substantial depending on how often you use your system and the climate you live in.
And if you’re a veteran in The U.S., a VA refinance loan offers up to $6,000 for energy efficient home improvements (which includes heat pumps and furnace improvements) when you refinance your home using a VA loan.
2. Close Your Shades in the summer heat!
Something that just about everyone can relate to right now is the crazy high temperatures and their effect on our cooling bills! When it comes to air conditioning, the best way to keep your house cool is to keep the heat out in the first place! Having some 200 year old oak trees goes a long way to helping, but for those not willing to wait several generations there is, luckily, another option. Close your shades and blinds during the middle of the day and the sun’s rays won’t find their way in to heat up the inside of your house. Just this simple step can save you 15-20% on your cooling bills this summer.
3. Replace that filter!
Ask any HVAC professional the most egregious thing they see over and over again from home owners and they will invariably say the same thing—they don’t change their air filter often enough. If you go looking for a home to purchase, your realtor will talk of many examples where the previous owners didn’t replace them at all! With Corporate America selling everyone on more expensive allergen reducing filters, the use of these has grown exponentially. The key thing to keep in mind is that your HVAC system does move air around your house, but it wasn’t designed for the purpose of cleaning the air! It is designed to make the temperature comfortable. Nothing saps efficiency faster than a clogged or restricting filter, so make sure you change it at least monthly. On top of that, it will keep you from expensive repair bills on your HVAC unit, especially when you are heating your home because restricting airflow causes overheating and wear on critical parts.
4. Buy a programmable thermostat.
For $30 you can pick up a programmable thermostat which will allow you to change the settings of your heating and cooling system while you are away. And if you don’t have pets or people at home during the day you’re simply throwing money out the window by cooling your home when no one is there. Dropping your home’s temperature by even 1 or 2 degrees during the day can save 5%-10%. And if you have a screwdriver, you can easily do this one yourself.
Darin Hansen is an HVAC veteran who has seen just about every side of the HVAC business from web wholesaler to the manufacturing floor. You can read more about all things HVAC related on his site including some tips on how to find wholesale HVAC systems from just about every major manufacturer.