Proper Maintenance the Key to Cooling Your Home this Summer

When it comes to energy efficiency in the home, sometimes small changes can make a big impact. And one of those, the unglamorous task of changing the filters on an HVAC system, makes your unit run more efficiently, keeping your house cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. It also saves money.

As you move around your home, you drive dust into the air from carpets, furniture and drapes. This dust and dirt can get trapped in a system’s air filter  and can lead to several problems, including reduced air flow in the home (increasing operating costs by up to 15 percent), costly duct cleaning or replacement and lowered HVAC system efficiency.

Now that you know the facts, it’s time to get busy changing or cleaning the air filter in your HVAC system. Jones-Onslow recommends that you check your air conditioner or furnace filter monthly and change it as needed. It’s simple and easy, and in many cases, it only takes a few minutes.

Charles “Chuck” Westmoreland, Jones-Onslow EMC’s Energy Advisor, suggests turning your HVAC system off before changing the air filter and make sure that the arrow on the filter (the arrow indicates the direction of the airflow) is pointing in the direction of the blower motor. Once you’ve made the change, turn the system back on.

Beyond saving money and improving the air quality, changing your air filter is a great chance to teach your family more about energy efficiency. Get everyone involved…and you will learn how simple changes can make a big difference.

Heating and cooling your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home—it can account for between 47 to 50 percent of your utility bill. No matter what kind of heating and cooling system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment. Remember, an energy-efficient air-source heat pump, a geothermal heat pump, or central air conditioning system alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining proper equipment maintenance and upgrades with the recommended insulation, air sealing and thermostat settings, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling.