The average American homeowner spends $1,000 a year heating and cooling their house. It makes up almost half your total energy costs.
Of course, bringing in a heating and cooling contractor to improve energy efficiency can pay off. So where should you be checking for improvements?
First of all, make sure you’re properly insulated. A poorly insulated attic can put immense strain on your heating and cooling system. Heat beats down from the attic in the summer, and heat escapes through the ceiling in the winter.
Also, seal leaks in the ductwork and insulate the sections that run through uninsulated areas of your house. Exposed and leaky ducts and vents can put a huge burden on your HVAC system. A RESNET qualified heating and cooling contractor can take care of duct cleaning, and uncovering blockages. This’ll improve the airflow.
A RESNET Qualified EnergySmart Contractor will also perform a combustion safety check before and after, ensuring there’s no back drafting of gas or oil burning appliances.
But while contractors can save you money, they can also cost you dearly
Remember this if you decide to install a new air conditioner. Many people wrongly believe your air conditioner’s size should be proportionate to your home.
Always beware of contractors who judge your air conditioner size based on square footage of your house. An oversized air conditioner costs more to buy. But that’s not the worst part. It’ll use more energy, whilst cycling on and off more frequently. This shortens its life span.
You don’t want to keep paying for the wrong contractor years after they’ve walked out your door, so take a little care to begin with. Check your contractor’s references, as well as their training and qualifications. Look for a local certified RESNET air conditioning contractor.
Any RESNET qualified contractor has undertaken rigorous energy efficiency training and passed a RESNET administered exam. Certified RESNET contractors can also be held to account if you have a valid complaint.
So what should an energy conscious air conditioning contractor be doing?
They’ll probably be in your house for at least an hour before suggesting your best-suited air conditioner. This is because they’ll measure everything that may affect the unit’s performance. Measurements of the floors must be taken, as well as the window to wall ratio. They’ll also be checking the standard of insulation in the attic, walls and crawl spaces.
This means you’ll be fitted with an air conditioner that’s accurately sized, as opposed to one that’s based solely on your home’s square footage.
Upgrading your air conditioner from a SEER 9 to a SEER 13 can have a 30% reduction on your bills. That can be up to $300 depending on where you are. However, no air conditioner can save you money if it’s wrong for your home or fitted incorrectly. A RESNET certified heating and cooling contractor can help you find the option that’s best for you.