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How Can I Take Control of My Energy Costs?

January 24, 2019

Throughout the coldest and hottest weeks in the Bay Area, your heating and cooling system is an essential ally in keeping your home comfortable. Unfortunately, it’s also your worst enemy when trying to lower your energy consumption. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your HVAC system could be the culprit behind nearly half of your energy usage.

That hefty draw of energy makes your HVAC unit a perfect place to start adjusting your energy habits. Whether you’re looking to decrease your carbon footprint or want to lower your utility bill, there are several ways—big and small—to direct how your heating and cooling system consumes energy.

Replace Your Air Filters

The air filters in your HVAC system are vital to keeping up your home’s air quality. They help capture a variety of debris—including dust, dirt and other small particles—and stop them from polluting your space. However, more than just your air quality suffers when your filters are full of debris. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a dirty filter can decrease air conditioner efficiency by up to 15 percent. Changing out your air filter routinely keeps your system from using an unnecessary amount of energy. Replace one-inch pleated filters each month. Remember, filters might need more frequent attention if your HVAC system is in constant use, is around dusty conditions, or you have pets in the house. Reach out to Contra Costa Heating & AC to find out what frequency of filter change is correct for your system.

Schedule Regular HVAC Service

If you depend on your HVAC system to operate as efficiently as possible, routine maintenance is key. Once it is spring, have an HVAC expert review your air conditioner and clean its coils, check refrigerant levels, adjust system controls and more. In the fall, have them come back to check up on your furnace and make adjustments before the cold weather sets in later. Consistent maintenance confirms your equipment is ready to run exactly as it was supposed to—with peak efficiency. Contra Costa Heating & AC professionals are qualified to help your system get back on track.

Switch Out Your Thermostat

Saving money on your energy bill can be as easy as adjusting the temperature in your home while you’re asleep or not at home. The closer the temp in your house is to the conditions outside, the lower your energy bill can be. However, this doesn’t mean you’ll need to take extreme measures every day. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends lowering or raising (depending on the season) your temperature by just resetting your thermostat when you are asleep or gone.

You could make these adjustments on your own each day, but a programmable thermostat helps the process. These thermostats allow you to select a schedule for your HVAC system and automatically adjusts the temperature in your home to reach that goal. A smart thermostat takes your control a step further, typically allowing you to set the temperature wirelessly from almost anywhere. Consult with Contra Costa Heating & AC to see if either of these options would be beneficial for your home.

Assess Your Equipment

Old HVAC equipment can be an issue on your energy bill during the year. Whether they’re no longer operating efficiently, are the inappropriate size for your home or lack the energy efficiency new systems have, there’s a good chance your system is costing you extra money if it’s more than 10 years old.

When you’ve come to the conclusion it’s time to look for a replacement system, Contra Costa Heating & AC is here to help. We’ll help you understand different efficiency ratings and choose a system that will work for your needs.

If you have more questions about monitoring your energy costs, need to schedule maintenance or want to discuss new system choices, the team at Contra Costa Heating & AC in the Bay Area is ready to guide you. Reach us at 510-343-9841 or schedule an appointment online.