As summer temperatures rise, so do electric bills. And with heating and cooling accounting for about 55 percent of energy use*, your HVAC system is the best place to start looking for savings.
“When we’re evaluating the energy efficiency of a home or business,” said PEC Senior Energy Service Advisor Chris Denison, “we always start with HVAC. That’s where you can find the biggest potential savings.”
But you don’t need an expert like Denison to test the efficiency of your equipment. He says it’s cheap and easy to do yourself.
“The difference between the temperature of the air going into your HVAC unit’s air filter and the temperature of the air coming out of the vents should be about 20 degrees. Seventeen or 18 degrees is acceptable, but if it’s below that, it’s time to have the unit serviced.”
Test your HVAC unit
- Measure the temperature of the air being pulled into your HVAC filter with a digital thermometer (about $12 at the hardware store).
- While the air conditioning is blowing, measure the temperature of the air coming from the vent. Check different rooms to discover potential duct or air delivery issues.
- If the vent air is about 20 degrees lower (17 degrees is acceptable), your unit is operating efficiently. If not, it’s time to have your unit serviced.
*Based on a 2,000-square-foot, all-electric home with a family of three to five using an average of 1,465 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month. Remember, technology and usage are constantly evolving. This information is based on PEC’s current data for a home built in the last 10 years.