One of the keys to creating an energy-efficient home is making sure that you limit the amount your HVAC system runs. To this effect, innovative building materials such as airtight concrete framing, high-quality polyiso insulation, and durable window trim are all effective measures in limiting unwanted heat transfer into and out of your house.
Nonetheless, regardless of how well the home is designed, there will be some instances when the HVAC system will be required to get your home to a comfortable temperature–especially in an area like Phoenix, which sees many triple-digit days. In order to ensure that your HVAC system is only operating when necessary, take the following steps to optimize its efficiency.
1. Test the Quality of Your Home’s Insulation
The very definition of efficiency is reaching a goal while wasting nothing in the process. As such, your Phoenix-area home can never be truly efficient if it is spending time cooling the exterior desert air.
A blower door test can give you an idea of how airtight your home is. If the test reveals concerning air transfer, pinpoint the underlying issue, and make the necessary renovation before making your HVAC system work overtime.
2. Consider Zone Heating Your Home
When living in Phoenix, the days of ever truly needing to heat your house will be few and far between. Therefore, using HVAC to heat your home on those rare occasions is likely to be wasteful.
Zone heating refers to the concept of heating your home on an as-need basis. For example, if you like to keep your home at 75° during the winter and the temperature drops below this figure, rather than turning on the HVAC system to heat the entire house, use a small electric fireplace or space heater to heat the area you need to use.
3. Regularly Inspect and Change the AC Filter
The HVAC system will only operate at maximum efficiency when it achieves maximum airflow. A dirty filter can undermine efficiency, as the HVAC system will have to work harder to cycle air through the accumulated debris.
The added strain of working through a dirty filter to intake air will not only increase energy costs, but it could make your HVAC system susceptible to further damage, such as leaks in the ductwork or a failed compressor motor. As such, check the condition of your filters every six months and replace them as necessary.
4. Avoid Using Your Oven or Dryer in the Afternoon Heat
For notoriously hot areas like Phoenix, air conditioning costs during the summer can sometimes exceed 75% of a home’s total energy bill. During those blistering hours between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM when the summer sun is at its brightest, the AC essentially has to work non-stop to keep the home at a comfortable temperature.
Therefore, any heat generated indoors at this time will only undermine the HVAC system’s efforts. Try using appliances that give off a lot of heat, such as the oven and dryer, during the early morning or late evening hours when the ambient temperature is not so extreme.
Contact Day & Night AIr for HVAC Services in Phoenix
An efficient HVAC system keeps your home at a comfortable temperature with as little wasted energy as possible. In a particularly hot area like Phoenix, achieving efficiency can be quite a challenge. In addition to quality framing and insulation, ideas such as zone heating your house, regularly checking the HVAC filters, and avoiding heat-producing appliances in extremely hot temperatures are some ideas for helping maximize the efficiency of your unit.
Skylar Ross is a contributor to the Innovative Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Skylar is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.