During the holiday season, homeowners in Bellaire, Texas, may notice a sharp increase in their monthly utility bills. Between holiday lights, extra people in the house, and cooler temperatures, it’s easy to see why the costs change. However, you can take some steps to improve efficiency and reduce energy waste. Save money during one of the most expensive seasons of the year by keeping the air flowing efficiently.

Replace the Filter

As the heating system runs, it pulls air through the returns and pushes it back through the vents to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Anything in the air, including dust, dirt, pollen, pet hair, and other debris, will move into the system. The filter within your furnace helps reduce how much of these contaminants can move through the system, but when your filter is dirty and clogged, it really can’t do its job. As a result, the debris will settle in your ducts and reduce efficiency because your system will have to work harder to move the air.

Swapping out your furnace filter is an easy, low-cost way to keep your system running more efficiently. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, try using a filter with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) to filter smaller particles out of the air. Most HVAC manufacturers recommend replacing the furnace filter at least once every two to three months.

Upgrade the Thermostat

If you’re in the habit of manually adjusting the thermostat to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature, it is time to break that habit. Using a programmable thermostat properly can help reduce energy waste while keeping your home feeling warm during the holiday season. When the seasons change, take a few minutes to adjust the settings so the heating system will turn on around the time you wake up in the morning and go lower when you’re asleep.

A smart thermostat is a better way to improve efficiency since it doesn’t require as much effort on your part. Initially, you can set the system as you would with a programmable thermostat, but the innovative unit can track your habits and make automatic adjustments to reduce energy waste. Some smart thermostats sense movement and lower or raise the temperature based on whether people are at home. You also have more control over the system with access from anytime via a smartphone app. Forget to lower the thermostat before heading on vacation? No problem—adjust it from your phone to save energy.

Duct Cleaning

Duct cleaning is an easy and effective way to improve HVAC efficiency during the holiday season. Before the guests arrive, schedule a duct cleaning service with a professional technician. The process involves using a powerful vacuum to remove dust, dirt, pet hair, pollen, and other debris. When these contaminants are removed, the air flows more freely and limits restrictions that could have been wasting you a lot of energy.

Some duct cleaning services also include a treatment with sanitizing spray to eliminate mold spores. Mold can grow as the result of excess moisture or humidity in the ducts, which can cause allergic symptoms like congestion, headaches, and sore throats. Duct cleaning also improves the indoor air quality, allowing your family and your guests to breathe easy.

Routine Maintenance

Regular maintenance on your HVAC system can make a big difference in its efficiency. During a furnace tuneup, a skilled technician will examine all components of the unit as it runs, ensuring that the parts are moving and operating properly. Even a small glitch within your furnace can waste a lot of energy, which can increase your monthly bills substantially. Having maintenance done regularly will make sure your technician can keep an eye on the system and repair any problems before they cause more serious issues.

Bringing in a professional for maintenance might seem counterintuitive when you’re trying to save money, but it truly is one of the best ways to protect your HVAC system and reduce energy waste.

Save money this holiday season by contacting Maxx AC & Heating at281-409-3890 to schedule a routine maintenance or duct cleaning service.

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