Of all the places in your home that uses electricity (oven, TV, cell phones, computers), nothing uses more electricity than your heating and cooling units. In fact, on average, air conditioning sucks up 16% of total electricity used, with that number skyrocketing to up to 70% of total usage during summer months. So while people try to convince you that unplugging your phone charger when not in use will lower your bills, spend your time and energy where it matters most – with more efficient heating and cooling units.

HOW TO DETERMINE IF YOUR SYSTEMS ARE IN NEED OF REPLACEMENT

If you have an HVAC system that’s pushing past 10 years, or that isn’t performing the way it should, you need to contact a reputable heating and cooling expert in Virginia, who’ll evaluate your equipment. He or she will recommend either a repair, or, potentially, replacement, depending on what will provide you the most comfort and savings.

BEFORE YOU COMMIT TO CENTRAL AC …

Don’t get us wrong – we think central AC is great. It gives you the power and freedom to cool your entire house at once. But studies show that a 2.5-ton central AC system uses about 3500 watts, vs. a window unit AC, which uses 500-1440 watts (ceiling fans use upwards of 90 watts). Some homes – and people – can get away with individual room-by-room ACs, combined with fans. Your heating and cooling specialist will suggest this option if he or she feels it’s viable.

CONSIDER A DUCTLESS MINI-SPLIT SYSTEM

Mini-split systems are often used for room additions, when extending or installing a distribution ductwork is just not logical. But in efficient new homes that require just a small space conditioning system, a ductless mini-split system could be your most energy-friendly option. These mini splits have a significant advantage over other systems: they allow you the flexibility of zoning (heating and cooling individual rooms). Each room will have its own thermostat, giving you the opportunity to condition rooms that are occupied, thus saving you a ton of money on your energy bill.

SEE THE SEER

SEER plays a significant role in how much money you dish out each month for your energy bill (SEER for central systems, EER for window units). Basically, the higher the number, the better. A good way to look at it is that a SEER 13 unit is 30% more efficient than a SEER 10 unit.

Since 2006, all ACs must have at least a SEER of 13, but that number can go as high as 19. If your unit was installed before 2006, chances are you may be paying for it. Let your heating and cooling specialist take a look at your system to see how low  your SEER is. He or she can then show you how much you’ll save each month with a new system.

BE SURE TO GET THE RIGHT SIZE

Bigger isn’t always better. An oversized AC or heating system wastes money. You want your system to run for at least 10 minutes when it turns on. An oversized unit will condition your house too quickly, and then will turn off before it reaches its most efficient running level. A heating and cooling specialist will be able to outfit your home with the right size system.

INFORMATION OVERLOAD – WHERE CAN I GET HELP?

The ideal heating and cooling unit is one you never have to worry or think about. The moment you do have to pay it attention, you know something’s wrong. Replacing a new system can be a headache and hassle, unless you work with a professional who knows how to get you what you need, without all that stress. Comfort First has a reputation as the most trusted name in heating and cooling throughout North Carolina and Virginia. Contact us today to learn how we can help you save money on your next energy bill.