Sensible HVAC Economy

Learn how to reduce your household's energy costs and enjoy a more economical heating and cooling system without sacrificing comfort and convenience.

One of the biggest household expenses after the mortgage is the power utility bill made costly by running a large power hungry HVAC system uneconomically.

Here I explain how to reduce the load on your household budget by applying economical common sense measures to running the system that maintains a pleasant and comfortable interior climate in your home.

Stop Wasting Energy!

The biggest partly unnecessary drain on many family bank accounts is caused by wasteful energy management practices. Many of these are not even known about as ever more expensive utility bills appear in the mail and the common grumble is the power companies are just getting greedier, when a large part of the blame actually rests squarely on the shoulders of the occupants of the house!

What do I mean by this? I mean that many families have no idea they are even wasting energy to keep their homes warm in winter and cool in summer.

How does this happen? There are a multitude of answers to that question, but the most common causes of wastage are these:

Let's look at each of these major reasons for wasted household energy and see where they can be improved.


insulationA building such as a home is designed to keep its occupants protected from the ravages of the outdoor elements such as inclement weather and extremes of temperature as well as affording them a place of safety and comfort. While the basic structure is good at keeping out the worst of the weather and climate differences, it is not so good at maintaining its internal climate when that climate is influenced by a house-wide heating and cooling system.

A house that is not properly insulated will actually leak a large proportion of the heat generated by the HVAC to the outside through the roof and out through closed windows and doors especially where there are gaps in framework and enclosures. The same goes for allowing the heat from outside during summer to reduce the level of cooling provided by the air conditioning system.

By adding or improving a home's insulation, it is possible to reduce the load on the heating and cooling systems by keeping more of that precious warmth (or coolness) inside the building while keeping the outside climate out. Attic insulation can save as much as 20% of the heat produced in a home, which can result in a large saving in energy consumption.

Window and Door Frames

Another common place that a house leaks its heat or coolness depending upon the season is a badly fitting window or door frame where there are gaps that allow drafts to pass through. They may seem insignificant at first glance, but you could be losing 10% of your valuable heat to cold air getting in while the hot air gets out.

In summer, these drafts will allow hot air to get in and force your AC system to work much harder to keep the air cool. Even with a high quality HVAC system, the harder your AC works, the more energy it uses!

Filling gaps in window and door frames and reducing drafts to a minimum can make further substantial savings. By keeping the outside air outside and the inside air inside, there is less for the heating or cooling system to do to maintain the temperature we have set it to maintain!

HVAC System Management

One action that is probably the easiest of all to do in order to make our home's heating and cooling system run as economically as possible without sacrificing on the comfort it provides is to manage it correctly. There is a thermostat that controls the home's interior temperature and that should be set to provide the most comfortable temperature possible for the minimum energy consumption by the system providing that degree of warmth or coolness.

Many people simply set the thermostat to be warmer than is necessary in winter, the go and set it to be cooler than necessary in summer. An example is setting the place to be as warm as toast at say 25ºF in winter, then setting it to be cool as a cucumber at say 21ºF in summer.

I'm sure plenty of people reading this will identify with that kind of setup because it's just human nature to want to feel warm inside when it's cold outside, or feel cool inside when it's hot outside. The only problem is there is no continuity of temperature!

If you follow that example pretty closely, then you're setting it to be too warm in winter and too cool in summer!

The general idea of a temperature maintenance control is to keep the indoor temperature as constant as possible throughout the year. That means you can comfortably lower the thermostat to a cozy 24ºF in winter and a comfy 24ºF in simmer too!

Do you know what the impact on your power utility bill would be if you made that simple yet effective change? You'd save a lot of dollars throughout the year because your system will be using so much less power to maintain that even temperature in your home throughout the year!

You can find out more about heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) at: Bay Air HVAC Services, where everything from economy and best practices to installation and maintenance is covered.

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