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Environmental Protection

Saving Energy With Your HVAC System

Written by Lyndi Catania
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HVAC stands for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. In today’s modern homes and buildings, HVAC systems are used to increase comfort and indoor air quality. Since the functions of heating, ventilating and cooling need energy to take place, it’s no surprise that too much energy can be used in the process. Most of us are so accustomed to having our heater or air conditioner running that we tend to not realize how much energy is being wasted. We also sometimes forget that they can’t remain sufficient without us — they need proper care. Whether you’re a homeowner with a residential system or a property manager with a commercial system, there are ways you can be saving energy with your HVAC system.


HVAC maintenance and taking preventative and predictive measures is one of the most significant ways to save energy. Here is a list of what is involved in HVAC maintenance:

  • cleaning dirt build-up from the filters
  • ensuring nothing is blocking the air vents and impacting the airflow
  • lubricating all moving parts, allowing them to function efficiently without needing extra energy
  • cleaning build-up in the burner
  • cleaning the condenser and evaporator coils
  • ensuring the thermostat is functional
  • insulating pipes and caulking windows and doors when needed to prevent leaks and drafts
  • cleaning debris away from the outdoor unit

New HVAC Technology

We have advancements in HVAC technology to thank for helping us to save energy. Investing in new technology could mean saving energy and money. Certain types of new HVAC technology can:

  • decrease the possibility of the HVAC system failing
  • automatically turn to a lower setting based on the time
  • undergo fixes remotely, preventing a waiting period
  • be ENERGY STAR certified, which means the system meets the energy efficiency standards of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Upgrade Other Systems

The efficiency of nearby, related systems correlates with an HVAC system’s energy consumption. These include:

  • energy-efficient lighting systems give off less heat, reducing the need for a higher level of air conditioning
  • energy-efficient electronics give off less heat
  • energy-efficient windows, doors and skylights bring in less heat and prevent cold drafts — preventing cold drafts means preventing raising the heat
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Avoid Oversized HVAC

An oversized HVAC isn’t just using up extra space, it’s using up extra energy. Look to a professional if you need guidance because an oversized HVAC will:

  • start up and shut down more frequently because it quickly meets the thermostat’s set temperature, causing the system to tire out and use more energy
  • use more energy due to the size alone — it’s no surprise that larger systems need more energy to function
  • be less efficient if its age is the reason it’s oversized — older HVAC systems are large, heavy and wasteful with energy

The Do-not List

You may not think that this list of do-nots will have much of an impact, but steer clear of these actions and you’ll see the difference:

  • shut the system down at night — the system actually consumes more energy every time it is shut down and turned on because it then needs to catch up with your thermostat again
  • wait too long to schedule a maintenance appointment — the time in-between is just more time for your energy bill to rise
  • try to fix everything on your own — you need a trustworthy HVAC technician for certain tasks

HVAC trends and technology are keeping up with energy- and cost-conscious consumers, as well as helping our environment. An updated system will make your home or building more comfortable and healthier to live in. Improve your HVAC system by keeping up with maintenance, new HVAC technology and other related upgrades. You’ll be saving energy while using a system that’s most likely running almost every day.

Featured photo credit: http://www.freeimages.com/ via freeimages.com

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