One of the major advantages of replacing an old HVAC unit is that you can install a significantly more energy efficient unit with the potential to save you a lot of money in the long run. In fact, according to EnergyStar.gov, replacing a heat pump or central air conditioner that’s ten years old or more with a new Energy Star-rated model can save you up to 20% on heating and cooling.
However, the words “up to” are key. That’s the potential savings. In order to see those savings, you’ve got to make sure your new unit is able to run at its best.
First, there are steps you need to take when purchasing and installing your new HVAC. In order to run as efficiently as possible, your new HVAC unit must be the correct size for your home. If it’s oversized, it will cycle on and off too frequently, which wastes energy with each start and stop. And if it’s undersized, it will run for too long, constantly struggling to keep up. Also, your new HVAC must be installed correctly. A trained, licensed HVAC technician can make sure that your new system is set up to run as efficiently as possible.
Second, you need to keep your HVAC performing at its peak. Regular preventive maintenance is key to getting the most efficiency out of your HVAC system. Steps like cleaning the coils and checking refrigerant levels will help to ensure that your heat pump or air conditioner aren’t working harder than necessary. It’s also very important to change the air filter regularly, so that your fan can easily draw enough air through the system.
Finally, make sure there aren’t other problems sapping the efficiency from your system. Leaky ducts or drafty windows can make it difficult for your HVAC to keep up, no matter how efficient it is. And of course, you can also cancel out the savings on your bill if you turn the thermostat down a few degrees more in the summer, or up in the winter.
So, an energy efficient HVAC won’t automatically reduce your bill. But with proper installation and care, you can see big savings in the long run.