a hand holding an illustration of the earth in his handWith Earth Day fast approaching, many people are wondering how they can reduce their carbon footprint and be more friendly to the environment. As a heating and cooling company in Enfield, we can tell you that one of the best ways to be more environmentally friendly, is to make your HVAC system more efficient.

The Department of Energy says that heating and cooling costs can eat up as much as 50 percent of your budget. Making your HVAC system more efficient not only helps the earth, but it can lower your energy costs as well.

Get a Programmable Thermostat

A programmable thermostat allows you to “set it and forget it,” lowering your costs while still keeping your home cool in the summer and warm in the winter. A programmable thermostat will turn the heat down during the day while you are at work, and allow your home to be a little hotter in the summer when you’re not home. This will save you on annual heating and cooling costs.

Clean Air Conditioner Coils

Heavy buildup of dust and debris on your air conditioner means it has to work harder to cool your home. This extra work makes it less efficient, forcing harmful emissions into the atmosphere. In order to keep the unit clean, walk around it each month and clear away leaves, branches and other debris. You can also turn the unit off and clean the coils with a long brush.

Change the Air Filters

Your air filter’s job is to catch the dust and grime that would normally find its way into your home. After a while this dust will block the air flow, making your system’s motor work harder than it has to. When you get regular air flow changes and replacements, your HVAC does less work, saving the environment. While most air filters last for up to 90 days, checking your air filters each month will help you to catch any issues before they turn into huge buildup.

Clean Registers Well

Most people vacuum the outside of heat registers, but dust and grime can build up on the inside and block air flow. This in turn blows dust into your home and makes your system run less efficiently. Check your air ducts to make sure there are no blockages.

Geothermal

Geothermal HVAC systems enable your home to produce clean energy for heating and cooling by utilizing subterranean temperatures. A geothermal system uses a buried system of pipes and indoor handling unit to warm or cool your home with “free” energy.

Geothermal units don’t burn fossil fuel or generate heat. They actually use a small amount of electric power to simply transfer heat to and from the earth, while saving you up to 70% on your monthly utility bills.

Upgrade to a High Efficiency System

If your HVAC system is more than 10 years old, you may be overdue for an upgrade. The upgrade usually pays for itself in lowered energy costs. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests checking the SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) level annually to ensure that your unit is functioning properly. Most of the newer models have ratings between 14 and 18. Older models are usually rated no higher than 10.

Upgrading your home’s HVAC system may seem like a small step, but it goes a long way in making the earth a cleaner place. Many people are choosing energy efficient appliances, using resources sparingly and taking additional steps to reduce their carbon footprint. You too can participate by making sure your HVAC is up to date and earth friendly.