With winter lows well below freezing and summer highs approaching triple digits, it is vital to have reliable air and heating service in St. Louis. But as most midwesterners know, cranking up your heat and air can result in some costly utility bills. Luckily, there are many ways you can increase your system’s energy efficiency without sacrificing comfort. Below, we share a few tips that won’t just reduce your monthly energy bill – they can also increase the health and longevity of your HVAC system!
Every degree counts when setting your thermostat. Your system’s energy usage will increase six to eight percent for every additional degree of heating or cooling. It is generally recommended to set your thermostat to 68oF in the winter and 78oF in the summer, and you can further increase your efficiency by adjusting the temperature to fit your schedule. In the winter, set your thermostat to a lower temperature when you’re away and a higher temperature when you’re home, and vice versa in the summer.
A programmable thermostat can make this simpler and even more efficient, and Meyer Heating and Air will be happy to help you select and install the programmable thermostat that will best suit your needs. Always keep in mind that adjusting your thermostat to a significantly lower or higher temperature won’t make your house cool down or warm up any faster than if you adjust it by a few degrees.
Sealing and insulation is key to maintaining the temperature of your home with minimal energy loss. Without proper insulation, heat will disperse through the walls, roof, windows, and floors, raising your energy bills. Equally important is ensuring your home and ductwork are properly sealed. Leaks in the exterior of your home will cause warm air in the winter and cool air in the summer to escape, and leaks in the ductwork inside your home can result in the interior of your walls being heated and cooled instead of your rooms. When you choose Meyer Heating and Air for your air conditioning or furnace repair in St. Louis, we will locate and seal any leaks in your ductwork.
Whether it’s the dead of winter or the peak of summer, ceiling fans can help keep your home comfortable and your energy bills low. In summer, run your fan forward (counterclockwise) to create a cooling effect. In winter, run your fan in reverse (clockwise) to draw cool air up and circulate warm air back down without producing a cold breeze. This can raise the thermostat setting by about 4oF without affecting comfort. Typically, a ceiling fan will have a switch at the top which will allow you to change directions, though some newer ones allow you to accomplish this using a remote control.
When you are ready to replace your heating or air system, it’s important to choose one that will meet both your energy efficiency needs and the needs of your home. Choosing the wrong unit can mean unevenly distributed heat and air, forcing the system to work harder to keep the house at the desired temperature and wasting energy. This unnecessary strain can reduce the life of your appliance and force you to replace it sooner, costing you additional money. Meyer Heating and Air offers a wide range of options and will recommend the best cooling and heating replacement for you based on your budget and the unique characteristics of your home in a climate as varied as St. Louis.
Cleaning and replacing your air filters as directed is critical for both the health of your system and the efficiency of your home. Filters become clogged with accumulated dust and debris, resulting in reduced air flow to and from your appliance and decreased energy efficiency. These things can possibly damage your appliance if the problem is left unchecked. According to the EPA, indoor air quality can be up to 90% worse than the air quality outdoors, but even the best air filter won’t give you clean indoor air if it’s clogged. Meyer Heating and Air can help you maintain and install your air filtration system, whether you choose HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters or our cutting-edge Sanuvox Air Purification System.
In addition to keeping your filters clean, it’s also important to maintain the health of your heating and cooling systems through regular servicing. To avoid a costly furnace repair and improve energy efficiency, get regular maintenance like what we offer at Meyer Heating and Air. Our regular HVAC maintenance services include cleaning and adjusting your heater’s controls and burners, testing and adjusting its combustion, and properly lubricating your appliance’s moving parts. Similarly, regular maintenance of your air conditioning system will include cleaning the appliance’s cabinet, coil, and base pan as needed and adjusting controls and refrigerant levels, as needed. A dirty coil alone increases energy costs by about five percent, and improper coolant levels can reduce efficiency by 50 percent. Like a regular oil change for your car, regular maintenance of your HVAC systems will maximize efficiency and prevent costly repairs in the future.
The sun can have a powerful effect on the temperature inside your home, so adjusting how much sunlight enters through blinds, shades, and drapes can be a simple and effective way to reduce your energy bills. In the summer, keep your shades closed on the sunny side of your home, and in the winter, open up your shades to allow the sun to warm your home. Drapes, in particular, can act as an extra layer of insulation for your windows against the outside temperatures.
Even in a climate as varied as St. Louis, you as a homeowner have many options for increasing your home’s energy efficiency. With over 30 years serving the greater St. Louis area, including Arnold, Ballwin, Chesterfield, Fenton, O’Fallon, Sappington, and St. Charles, Meyer Heating and Air is ready to help maximize your home’s energy efficiency. If you’re ready to get your HVAC serviced, repaired, or replaced, request an appointment online or call 314-279-0973.
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