With the change of seasons comes a shift in energy usage. Our resources have become more expensive and with the change of our economy, we want to find ways to conserve where we can. Now that it's getting cold, heating is the "hot" topic. Most homeowners can stretch their heating dollars through proper maintenance of the equipment they now have, like doing a tune up on an older vehicle to make it the best it can be. A typical maintenance check-up should include the following:
- Check thermostat settings
- Tighten all electrical connections
- Lubricate all moving parts
- Check and inspect the condensate drain
- Check controls of the system
- Check all gas (or oil) connections, gas pressure, burner combustion and heat exchanger
- Inspect, clean, or change air filters
The best value in today's economy is in the tax breaks on new energy efficient equipment. Currently tax credits are available at 30% of the cost, up to $1,500 for windows, doors, insulation, roofs, HVAC, water heaters and biomass stoves. For more information on tax credits for energy efficiency, check out www.energystar.gov.
Maintaining the filter in your HVAC system is the easiest and most overlooked maintenance item, and it has the biggest impact on efficiency. Having a dirty filter is like covering all your heat registers with a towel- your furnace is working longer and harder to heat your home, costing you money.
Most modern HVAC systems are designed in such a way that the filter can be changed by the owner of the equipment. Armed with a screwdriver and a wrench, you can easily maximize the efficiency of your furnace and AC unit.