HVAC Hacks: How To Get The Most Out Of Your System

These days everyone is looking to get the most out of everything they use, both out of concern for the environment and their pocketbooks. Up to 50% of the energy you use in your home goes through your HVAC system, so doesn't it makes sense to begin energy saving measures with making that system more efficient? With winter approaching you should know there are a lot of things you can do to help your furnace without going to the trouble and expense of replacing it with a newer model. Here are a few of them.

Window Hacks

If you're planning a replacement of all your old windows, it's worth it to spring for ones that are energy star rated, since up to 20% of your heat is lost through older windows. If you're like most folks, though, you're looking to scoot by this winter with as little expense as possible. There are a couple of things you an do with your windows without replacing them that make heating your home a little easier for your furnace.

The first thing to try is to strategically open your shades. Sunlight doesn't create heat energy until it bounces off of something solid, so letting it stream through your windows can generate a significant amount of heat. The trick is to do this between the hours of 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM. Just open up the shades on the windows that get the most sun during those hours, and that's it. 

The other hack you can perform on your windows this winter is to install insulation. If the plastic shrink wrap (understandably) doesn't appeal to you, you're in luck, because insulated shades exist. Insulated curtains are made of material ill suited to conducting heat, which means they help keep the heat in your house. Insulated blinds are also available. Sometimes called honeycomb blinds because of how they look from the side, these blinds help prevent heat loss by leaving air pockets between the window and the room, preventing heat from moving through.

Thermostat Hacks

One of the best money saving appliances available on the market today is the programmable thermostat. If you don't have one, you are either heating an empty home, or coming home to a frigid house. Heating your home to your comfortable temperature while you're away wastes a lot of energy, but coming home and freezing while the furnace labors to catch up is uncomfortable, and less efficient as well. A programmable thermostat allows you to control the temperature while you're gone.

Another benefit of a programmable thermostat is that it can help give you a better night's sleep. Leaving the temperature high, or letting it fall too low at night disrupts sleep, but setting your thermostat to a lower temp as you are getting ready for bed can help trigger your body to go to sleep and stay asleep longer. A temperature between 65 and 72 degrees is ideal for sleep.

Hack the Thermometer

Your thermostat is a vital piece in this puzzle, but it measures the temperature only at its location. What if you spend most of your time in the living room, and it's several degrees warmer or colder? What if you go to sleep at night and the thermostat is set at 68 degrees, but it's actually 75 in your bedroom? Don't guess at your home's temperatures, buy inexpensive room temperature thermometers and put them up in each sleeping area and the living room. Adjust the thermostat as necessary to keep these rooms comfortable without wasting energy.

Following these simple steps will dramatically cut your energy bills. And you didn't even need to pay for a service call! Click here for more information.