You want your HVAC system to provide comfortable heating and cooling to your home in Willmington, NC. However, you may also want to keep the cost as low as possible. In addition to an efficient, well-running HVAC system, your home’s efficiency may affect how well it performs. Here are some of the ways your home can do this:
Understanding How Your System Works
To know what’s going to affect your system, you need to know how your system actually works. Both furnaces and air conditioners work by circulating air. They draw air into the system, warm or cool it, then push it back out into your home.
Much of what’s going to affect how efficiently your system runs will affect how the air flows through your ducts and your home. Your home’s ability to keep warm or cool air from leaking outside is another factor. On top of that, there are variables in your home’s construction and furnishings that’ll cause some areas to feel warmer or colder than others.
Windows Can Cause Energy Loss
Your windows are responsible for 25% to 30% of energy loss. You can dramatically cut your energy costs if your windows are UV resistant, multiple-ply and free from air leaks around the perimeter.
You can replace old windows with ones made with energy-efficient materials and coatings. These new windows will likely have a low-E coating, which is a nearly invisible coating that helps to reduce energy loss.
You can also look at the window dressings you use. If you use a heavier drape or more substantial blinds, this will also help reduce your energy loss by acting as an extra layer of insulation.
Finally, you can use seasonal sealing kits to create an additional air barrier, reducing drafts around the window. Work with a professional to determine the locations where air is escaping into and out of your home. They can use a thermal imaging tool to help you track down cracks and leaks around windows.
Size Does Matter
Furnaces and air conditioners come in a wide variety of strengths and sizes. In order for your system to work properly, the output capacity and ductwork is sized to your home by a designer.
A professional installer will consider not only the square footage but also how far that air must travel to treat every room. If your system is too small, it’ll constantly run, increasing your costs. However, if it’s too big, it’ll draw more power or fuel than you really need, increasing your costs.
Insulation Makes a Major Difference
One of the biggest indicators of whether your home is energy-efficient is how well it’s insulated. Insulation will affect your home’s ability to hold a temperature regardless of how warm or cold it is outside.
Older homes are often not insulated or insulated to a lower standard that was common at the time of construction. You may be able to supplement this with blow-in insulation without removing the walls.
Leaky Ductwork Wastes Energy
Leaks in ductwork can cause major issues with efficiency. If your ducts are leaky or aren’t insulated, the air won’t be able to make it to the vents without losing or gaining heat. Air-conditioned air in uninsulated ducts can also cause condensation, which can lead to rusty ducts and holes in the ductwork.
Sun and Shade Around Your Home
How much sun hits your home can drastically affect how your system works. You may have noticed that one area of your house seems to constantly be warm in the afternoon, while the rest of the house is cold.
Keep this in mind as you consider where to plant trees. Strategically place natural shade around your home to help reduce overexposure on sunny days.
Your Furniture’s Effect on Airflow
Your furniture can affect how your air will flow around your home. First, be sure to keep vents open, with at least 6 inches of clearance above and around them. Next, consider where you place large pieces compared to vents to ensure they’re not obstructing proper air movement.
If you find you need a piece of furniture over a vent or that you’re constantly closing off rooms you don’t use, consider a zoned system to help save money while you do this. This allows you to heat or cool only the areas you want to use.
Gideon Heating & Air Conditioning has been serving Wilmington, NC, since 1968. Our professional service technicians are experts in installing, servicing, and maintaining every make and model of HVAC system. Give us a call to schedule your HVAC consultation today.
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