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4 Ways to Improve Household Efficiency


With 50 percent or more of your summer energy budget going toward cooling your home, it’s no wonder Fairfax area homeowners are looking for ways to reduce that number. Here are four steps you can take to improve household efficiency and save on cooling costs every year.

  1. Keep up with filter changes. During the height of cooling season, aim to change your filter once a month. A dirty filter not only hampers airflow and makes your system work harder to keep your home cool; it also allows dust and dirt to accumulate on your equipment, which can lead to costly repairs and premature wear and tear or failure of parts.
  2. Call your contractor. One of the easiest ways to improve household efficiency and save on cooling, is scheduling annual preventive maintenance. Your contractor will clean, inspect, lubricate and tune your system for the utmost in efficiency and comfort.
  3. Seal and insulate your ducts. Air loss from leaky ducts can account for 20 percent or more of your cooling bill; inspect all visible ductwork and seal cracks or breaks with duct mastic or foil-backed tape, not duct tape, which deteriorates over time. Once they’re sealed, wrap ducts that run through unconditioned spaces with insulation to prevent heat loss in the winter and heat gain in the summer.
  4. Install a programmable thermostat. Set your thermostat 7 to 10 degrees cooler for times you’re not at home, and back to your desired set-point one hour before arriving home. Use the vacation or hold setting if you’ll be away two days or more, to a consistent 85 degrees, allowing for periodic air circulation and humidity control, while preventing your home’s interior from overheating.

For more tips on how to improve household efficiency and save on cooling, call the experts at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited Heating & Air Conditioning, proudly serving homeowners in Northern Virginia.

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