13% of Manitoban’s annual energy use goes to heat our homes. The cost of an HVAC system depends on its quality and the area of the country it is being built. You can always upgraded to a high efficiency HVAC system, but if that just isn’t in the cards financially, there are numerous ways to boost your systems efficiency and the comfort of you home with a few simply steps! Here are a few home improvements to optimize the comfort of your home and can save you up to $500 dollars on your utility bill.
Manufacturers recommend your HVAC system be maintained no less than twice a year. Just as a tune up for your vehicle can improve the driver experience and gas mileage, a tune-up of your heating and cooling system can improve efficiency. Consistent maintenance and regular cleaning of your HVAC unit can save you around 10-25% in energy savings per year.
Sealing and insulating ducts
Sealing and insulating ducts can improve your HVAC system’s efficiency by 20% and sometimes more. But where do you start? Try to focus on sealing ducts that run through the attic, crawlspaces, unheated basement, or your attached garage. After sealing, wrap the ducts in insulation to further enhance efficiency by keeping them from getting hot in the summer, or cold in the winter.
Upgrade that thermostat
Still using your grandparents thermostat? Upgrade your home’s thermostat to a programmable one to save yourself about $180 every year in energy costs. Numerous retailers offer these at prices starting at $39 dollars so there is really no excuse to not have one in your home. Stop wasting money on your system putting in work when you are away at work. Proper use of pre-programmed settings can save you cash. Be “proactive” not “reactive” when it comes to the temperature of your home.
Windows and Sealing
Replacing single pane windows with energy efficient windows can save $126-$465 a year. It may be a bit of an investment at first, but will save you numerous dollars in the long run. A heating and cooling loss of up to 12% occurs around windows and doors. This can be drastically reduced with proper weather stripping.
Perhaps one of the easiest preventative measures in improving you system’s efficiency is keeping air filters clean. This can lowers your HVAC unit’s electricity use by 5-15%. Air filters are recommended to be changed every 60-90 days. It easy to do and improves the air quality in your home.
Manitoba Hydro offers numerous incentives to Manitoban’s looking to improve their home’s HVAC efficiency. If your house doesn’t have adequate insulation, your losing heat resulting in higher energy costs. Increasing insulation thickness can save up to $150 per year for every 1200 square feet of ceiling area. Manitoba Hydro offers a Power Smart Home Insulation Program where they will insulate your home for free. By upgrading you can keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer. Other programs include the Power Smart Residential Loan Program. This program allows families to borrow up to $7500 covering insulation, installing ventilation, sealing air leaks, replacing windows, lighting, electrical service, or upgrading the efficiency of your existing furnace or water heater.