It’s well known that Manitoba residents have some of the best energy rates across the country. But that doesn’t mean it’s cheap to power your home or business – heating your home can get expensive. Saving money on energy costs is something that everyone is interested in, including us!
Your HVAC system that keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer can represent 50% of your energy costs (or more). It’s critical that you do everything you can to live in a comfortable and controlled climate while cutting costs.
The tips below will help you do exactly that.
Inspect and maintain your HVAC systems on a semi-monthly basis
The majority of homeowners simply don’t spend enough time maintaining their HVAC system, really only addressing problems when they become catastrophes.
HVAC experts recommend that you inspect your furnace, your air conditioning system, and any other element of your heating and cooling platform every two months and perform maintenance on the systems – changing out filters, cleaning the air condenser coil, etc. – at least twice a year and ideally four times a year.
This maintenance will guarantee that your system is running as efficiently as possible. A more efficient system is going to consume less energy, work a lot harder, and last a lot longer. You’ll be able to save money in the short and long-term with just a little bit of effort.
Have professionals perform checkups and tune-ups before summer and winter roll around
Regular maintenance is a big piece of the puzzle in keeping your HVAC system running the way it should, and most of that can be done all on your own. After all, it doesn’t take all that much to clean air filters and replace some of the easier to reach parts and components that need to be swapped out. At the same time, it’s always a good idea to have heating and cooling professionals come in and check out your equipment – especially right before the summer season and before winter strikes. This is when your HVAC system is really going to be put to the test, and you’ll want to make sure that it is able to handle the extra workload without becoming compromised.
Yearly checkups are inexpensive (oftentimes less than $100), should only take an hour or two of your time, and can help you get out in front of minor problems before they become catastrophes.
Upgrade old and outdated equipment with modern high-efficiency models as your budget allows
Today’s heating, cooling and water technology is far more advanced than the HVAC systems of even just a decade or two ago. Making the upgrade to new high-efficiency options – particularly those that have fantastic ratings with Energy Star – can provide you with better performance at a lower cost to operate.
You’ll obviously have to budget replacing old equipment with new high-efficiency models to make this kind of upgrade, and will need to be sure that the savings you get over the lifetime of the unit makes this a financially sound investment, but this is one of the best ways to better control the climate in your home without spending a mountain of money along the way.
Don’t forget, we at Fair Service Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with Manitoba Hydro’s affordable energy efficiency program!
Inspect all of your ductwork for leaks
Almost any local hardware store that offers rental equipment will have FLIR cameras that you can rent for an afternoon or a weekend, and there’s no better technology available to help you find where all of your money is leaking out of your ductwork.
FLIR cameras use technology pioneered by the government to detect temperature changes, giving you an infrared readout so that you know exactly where the hot and cold spots are throughout your ductwork.
You’ll be able to figure out if your ducting is sealed up the way it should be or if it’s leaking hot or cold air before it gets to the rooms that it is supposed to. Making repairs and patching these leaks can reduce your overall energy costs by nearly 30%, depending upon just how severe the leakage was in the first place.
Improve the ambient air flow throughout your home to make your HVAC system run smoother
Taking the time to learn how the air flows throughout your home will only take an afternoon on a lazy weekend, but you’ll be able to better understand how hot and cold air transfers from your HVAC system to each individual room. This is going to shine a light on any obstructions and obstacles that are causing your HVAC system to work a lot harder than it should, consuming a lot more energy than necessary along the way.
By removing obstacles – rearranging furniture, leaving some doors open and some doors closed throughout the day, etc. – and maximizing airflow throughout your home (not only on each individual floor but from your basement to the attic as well) will allow your HVAC systems to work a lot easier and should save you 10% or more on your energy bills.
Eliminate drafts by patching up (or replacing) your doors and windows
Patching up any of the drafts that you may have because the windows and doors that weren’t installed properly (with even just a quarter of an inch gap on any side) can button up your home, cut down on energy bills by 20% or more, and help you to better regulate and control the temperature of your home in the winter or the summer.
Windows should be checked annually to determine whether or not they have “lost their seal”, and any windows older than 20 years should be swapped out with new energy-efficient replacement windows. Old wooden doors should be replaced with insulated doors, with the new wooden insulated doors providing a higher level of energy efficiency than metal insulated doors.
If you’re going to be using expandable foam insulation to seal the leaks that your windows and your doors are causing, make sure that you use less than you think you’ll need – especially at first. The foam can often expand beyond control and will cause your windows or doors to buckle or break completely. That’s the kind of extremely expensive project most people aren’t looking to tackle when they are just hoping to cut down on their energy bills!
There are a number of ways to save money on your heating bills. But one of the best ways to do it is to make sure your home heating and cooling equipment is running efficiently! And that’s where Fair Service Heating and Air Conditioning can help.
Call us today at 204-221-8070 to get our expert professionals out to your home to inspect your furnace and AC unit today! We’ll keep it running clean and give it a tune up so you aren’t wasting money on your energy bills!