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Energy Savings: Looking Beyond Your HVAC System

home efficiency tips new jerseyWhen it comes to saving energy and money, there’s a lot more to it than just your home’s heating and cooling systems. While your HVAC system represents a major part of your home’s energy output, there are also other components. This means that homeowners have numerous opportunities to reduce their energy bills.

You can think of your entire house as a system, and that system has three main parts:

  1. The building envelope – roof, walls, windows, doors and foundation
  2. The mechanical systems – furnace, boiler, water heater, central air unit, etc.
  3. The occupants themselves – their energy decisions and overall energy usage.

Each component contributes to your home’s energy efficiency and you can make a positive impact on energy usage (and your energy bills) in a number of ways.

For example, in terms of the building envelope, you could choose to insulate your attic or other parts of your home. Many homes are colder than necessary in the winter due to poor insulation levels. In the average home, about one-third of heat loss occurs through the ceilings, which should have a minimum of six inches of quality thermal insulation to keep heat inside the home, where it belongs. Otherwise, some of your heat will rise through the ceilings into the attic and then seep outside. What a waste of heating energy!

During the summer months, you could do little things like installing curtains or drapes to block the heat of the warm sun coming through your windows. Or raise your thermostat setting by just one degree. These changes could save you more than you might think!

Use A Smart Programmable Thermostat

In terms of your own energy decisions, investing in a smart programmable thermostat is a wise move. When used correctly, it will pay for itself in just a short time. If you choose a Wi-Fi thermostat, you can control your home’s temperature from your smartphone.

In the spring and summer, the U.S. Energy Department recommends setting your central air conditioning system to 78°F when you’re at home. Program your A/C system to shut off 20-30 minutes before you leave home each day; return the temperature setting to normal comfort levels 20 to 30 minutes before you come home.

In the winter, the optimal setting is 68°F when you’re at home. Dial it down toward the 60°F range when you’re asleep or out of the house. The temperatures you ultimately choose will depend on factors like the outdoor temperature and your family’s comfort preferences. Remember, these are just guidelines.

To learn about how you can positively impact your home’s energy efficiency through upgrades to mechanical systems like heating oil boilers and heating oil furnaces, please visit our website.