January 13, 2010

How to save money this heating season!

By Lorraine Cyr

If we use the LEED Rating System for existing systems as an example, we know that the right air filtration choice can conquer two of its main goals: improved indoor environmental quality and energy efficiency.

Did you know that by changing the filter on your heating/cooling system every month you can save money on your utility bills and improve the air quality in your home.  If you live in a complex where the owner only changes the filter once every six months but you are paying for the heating or cooling, you can save hundreds of dollars by changing the filter yourself in between company changes.  When you own the heating/cooling system by changing the filter every month you add years of life to the system as well as save money each month. 

Another energy saving tip is to keep the area by the cold air return open to allow free air circulation.  Some times when I do unit inspections I find that tenants have blocked these air returns with furniture not knowing the purpose of the air return.  Keeping these air returns free of dust and furniture allows the air to flow to the system unobstructed causing it to work with less energy.  The cold air return is at floor level usually on a wall close to the HVAC system.  Usually vented and larger than the heat returns which are usually up higher on the wall.  Dirt and poor maintenance are the top two reasons for HVAC systems failures.  Spending a little on an air filter now can help prevent spending hundreds of dollars on repairs later.

Some air filters can help make your home healthier and more comfortable by removing indoor particles from air that passes through the filter.  Changing your air filters often also helps people sensitive to allergens and other particles found in your home.

Make sure you buy the right size of filter for your unit.  You can ask your property management company for the size for your unit and for directions on changing the filter yourself.   If your management company does not offer this service than maybe it is time to change management companies.  At LCM we are always ready to help both our property owner and their clients save money.


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