Utilities bills are getting more expensive all the time. Living in Alaska, we’re lucky that we have an unlimited supply of water, but the amount of gas and electricity we use to heat our homes and keep them safe and comfortable adds up quickly.
Making your home more energy efficient will help you save money, while doing your bit to look after the environment. It’s a life-long process, because new technologies are constantly emerging, but we’re going to talk you through a few simple solutions that you can put in place now to start cutting back on your monthly expenses.
The first one, as you’ve probably guessed, is heating. We spend a lot of times inside our homes, and since temperatures in the Mat-Su Valley stay below freezing for a good 4-6 months of the year, it’s absolutely essential to have a good HVAC system. The most important thing, without a doubt, is your furnace, so we’ll run you through some options.
Construction season is just around the corner, which means you could also consider some minor renovations to your home. Summer is the best time to invest in insulation, upgrade your windows and doors or fix any draughts or gaps that might have popped up during an earthquake. You’ll be surprised at the difference it can make.
The third thing is to be conscious of your habits, because little things can add up to make a big difference over time. The most common one is leaving lights on when you’re not in the room, but there are plenty of other tips and tricks that can help you cut costs.
Ready to talk about maximizing the efficiency of your HVAC system? Talk to our expert technicians about your needs when you schedule an appointment.
Maintaining your furnace regularly will help cut costs. Try our Comfort Club Membership for 10% off all repairs and more great benefits!
Maximizing Efficiency of Your HVAC System
Replacing your furnace
Replacing your furnace is a big decision. It’s an expensive purchase, but considering the average residential furnace lasts about 15 years, it can make a huge difference to your monthly utility bills. The market is constantly evolving with exciting new technologies.
So where do you start? A quick Google search will reveal there are lots of different makes and models available, but we recommend Lennox Residential Furnaces. They’re a leading provider of high-efficiency home comfort systems, which are designed to conserve energy and save money.
Here are some of the options that might suit your needs:
- SLP98V Variable-Capacity Gas Furnace. This is the quietest and most efficient furnace available on the market, with 98% AFUE. Imagine a furnace that not only makes you perfectly comfortable, but makes you feel better about your decision every month. Sounds good, right? Click here to learn more about this furnace.
- EL296V High-Efficiency, Two-Stage Gas Furnace. This is a variable speed gas furnace with a 96% AFUE. It reduces electrical use by two-thirds (compared to a standard motor) and is designed to minimize temperature swings. It’s a great option – click here to read more and find out what other customers are saying.
- ML195 Gas Furnace. This option balances energy efficiency with affordability. It has 95% AFUE and will allow you to take control of your bills without sacrificing comfort. Learn more.
Once you choose the right model for your home, it’s important to make sure it’s properly installed according to both industry codes and the manufacturer’s standards, to get the most out of it. The best way to do this is to hire a licensed, bonded and insured HVAC service.
We are a Dave Lennox Premier Dealer and we offer a professional furnace installation with training from one of our Comfort Consultants and an exclusive furnace installation warranty.
Choosing the right furnace is a big decision. We love to answer questions.
Replacing your boiler
Boilers and water heaters also consume huge amount of energy. Ensuring they’re well maintained will go a long way to prolonging their life, ensuring they’re operating at their optimal level, delaying the need to pay for a replacement and avoiding expensive breakdown cost.
We’ve been servicing the Mat-Su Valley for 35 years, so trust us when we say proactive measures are always better than reactive ones – we offer a Comfort Club Membership that can help you reduce energy consumption by up to 15% while decreasing the likelihood of breakdown by 90%.
However, upgrading your boiler or water heater can make a big difference to your monthly expenses. When it comes to choosing an upgrade, it’s hard to go past Weil-McLain.
They manufacture a wide range of energy-efficient gas-fired and oil-fired boilers, as well as indirect-fired water heaters that produce twice the peak flow of a tankless coil. This is at least 50% more than a comparably-sized direct-fired gas water heater and three times more than an electric unit. Click here to learn more about the different options we install.
Installing a smart thermostat
A smart thermostat can also make a difference. We recommend the Lennox iComfort S30, which is the ultimate controller for precise comfort. It’s compatible for Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant and IFTTT, so it connects to smartphones, as well as a HD display screen.
It actively monitors the temperature, as well as the system performance, and will alert you straight away if there is a problem. It also has a function called Smart Away Mode, which uses the GPS in your smartphone to detect when you’re leaving, which means it can automatically adjust the temperature to optimize the system for efficiency. You can also schedule heating and cooling.
Simple Renovations Can Maximize Efficiency
Upgrading your insulation
Most homeowners have a mental list of all the repairs they plan to get around to at some point. Well, the snow is finally gone, and there’s no time quite like the present. There’s nothing worse than being caught out doing last-minute repairs during the first snowfall of next season.
The best way to keep your home at a comfortable temperature is to invest in your insulation. Over time, it can lose its effectiveness due to things like water leaks, air gaps or dust. On top of that, depending on the age of your home, you might also find that insulation isn’t consistent all the way around, which can go a long way to explaining why some rooms are warmer than others.
This will help reduce the load on your furnace, because it will ensure you get the most value possible from the heat it’s creating. Of course, if you’re planning to construct a new home, getting insulation right from the start will make a huge difference to your monthly bills once you move in.
Energy efficient doors and windows
One of the unique challenges of living in Alaska is the frequency of earthquakes. Every now and then, we get a big one, which can cause all sorts of gaps and cracks to appear. Sealing these up will reduce draughts and keep as much warm air circulating around your home as possible.
Doors and windows can make a big difference. Just like boilers and furnaces, technology is constantly evolving, which can make a big difference when it comes to reducing heat loss. You might find that something simple and relatively inexpensive, like fitting new blinds, can also make an impact on the amount of energy your HVAC system requires to operate. We live in the land of the midnight sun, so it’s the perfect time to think about fitting new blackout blinds.
Develop Energy Efficient Habits
Families inevitably use more energy than singles or couples, due to the number of people in the house, but simple habits can positively impact your monthly bills. For example, switching lights off in rooms you’re not using, unplugging appliances that are not in use, or using fans to help keep warm air circulating evenly throughout your whole home to avoid hot and cold spots.
How can we help maximize the efficiency of your home? Talk to us today.