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10 Ways to Achieve a More Energy Efficient HVAC System

Published: November 4, 2020

Are you bracing for that bump in your energy bill that comes each fall? Sure, it’s likely because you’re cranking the heat. But are you paying more than you should? If your HVAC system isn’t running at peak efficiency, it’s like tossing dollars out the window. A less efficient system has to work harder and can take longer to heat your home. Don’t let this happen to you! Take these 10 steps to a more energy-efficient HVAC system:

1. Insulate Your Home

Insulation is one of the most important steps to take to reduce your heating and cooling costs and prevent your HVAC system from working too hard. Your walls and attic should be well-insulated, but also spaces where heat can escape, such as crawl spaces, and floors over unheated rooms like garages and porches. The idea is to seal your home to keep warm air inside and cool air out in the winter and the opposite in the summer.

2. Change Your HVAC Filters Often

The purpose of filters is to remove the dust, dirt, and debris that circulates through the air. But if the filter is clogged, the HVAC system has to work harder to cool or heat your home. You should change your air filter every two to three months. How often you change it depends on how quickly the filter gets clogged. If you have a reusable air filter, simply remove it and rinse with warm water to clean it.

3. Don’t Block Heat or Airflow in Your HVAC Systems

Are there any leaves or fallen branches lying around your HVAC unit? They can block the airflow to and from your HVAC system. Check your outside unit for debris on a regular basis. Inside your home, make sure that your furniture and curtains are not placed near your air vents because they can also block airflow. Do you have baseboard heating? Don’t place furniture directly against it.

4. Keep Your HVAC Systems Clean

Clean air vents and heating units regularly. For vents, wipe the grates with a dry microfiber cloth or vacuum with an extendable attachment. For baseboards, radiators, and furnaces, wipe with a dry cloth and vacuum.

5. Install a Programmable Thermostat

Use a programmable thermostat to schedule temperatures based on use. For example, when you’re out of the house or sleeping, you can program a lower temperature during the winter. In the summer, you can raise the temperature when you’re not home. According to the Department of Energy, you could save up to 10% a year on your bill by adjusting the temperature.

6. Consider Heat Sources in Your Home

For safety, you shouldn’t run any of your appliances, like dishwashers and dryers, when you’re not at home. But did you know there is another reason you might want to be home when the oven and the dryer are running? They create heat! Why not be home to enjoy it? And during the summer months, when the sun is at its peak between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., you’ll want to avoid running appliances that might pour unnecessary heat into your home. You don’t want your AC to work harder than it needs to.

7. Seal Openings in Your Home

If air comes into your home, heat can get out. Use caulking and weatherstripping to patch any holes around doors, pipes, wiring, and windows. Add seals to the bottom of outside doors. Do you have a fireplace? Make sure to keep the flue damper closed when you’re not using it.  

8. Insulate Your Windows

Especially for older homes, decrease the draft coming in by sealing your windows with plastic wrapping. Heavy fabric curtains can also help insulate windows. And open and close blinds and windows to let the sun and its heat in during the day.

9. Use Your Ceiling Fans Instead of Air Conditioners

Did you know that ceiling fans aren’t just for the summer? While they help to circulate air in hotter months, they can also be set to push warm air down. Choose the “up” setting in the summer to draw warm air to the ceiling, and “down” in winter to bring that warm air where you are.

10. Get Regular HVAC Maintenance

At least once a year, you should schedule a regular maintenance check with an HVAC professional. They can spot small problems that you may not be aware of, and if you catch the problem early enough, you can save money on costly, intensive repairs later on.

No matter what type of weather you have, or what time of year it is, an energy efficient HVAC system is important to have.


Are you ready to do some HVAC maintenance? HVAC technicians install, repair, and maintain these HVAC systems. At Charter College, we offer a Certificate in Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration program in Anchorage, Lancaster, Lacey, Pasco, Vancouver, and Yakima that can train you in as little as 10 months. Call 888-200-9942 to learn more.