A new furnace is a big expense. And like it or not, if a unit you installed doesn’t live up to a homeowner’s expectations, you might not get the call when it comes time for a new water heater or their next heating ventilation and air conditioning installation. Unfortunately, fighting drafts and inconsistent temperatures in a home can decrease the efficiency and longevity of even the most advanced furnace. Help your customers get the most from their HVAC equipment by recommending the following energy saving strategies.
Install a Smart Thermostat
Smart technology is not just making our lives easier, it’s making it easier to conserve energy. With smart thermostats, homeowners can monitor and adjust indoor temperatures with a smart phone or other app-enabled device to increase energy efficiency. Many smart thermostats also include useful features such as maintenance reminders and energy consumption alerts. Some smart thermostats will also support heat pump systems.
Insulating pipes is a fairly easy process. The only materials necessary are scissors, pre-slit foam pieces (choose the highest R-value for best results) and duct tape from a local hardware store. If you are running short on time or materials, cover pipes that feel warm before any others. Doing so will mean paying less for hot water, saving energy and decreasing the chance of pipes bursting.
Install Storm Doors and Windows
Homes with older doors and windows can lose a lot of heat through the wood frames and single-pane glass construction. Pulling storm doors and windows out of the garage may seem like a chore but installing them before winter hits will make a huge difference in a homeowner’s ability to conserve energy. Replacing worn weather stripping and caulking can save money, prevent heat loss and prevent undue strain on a HVAC system.
Switch Ceiling Fans
Your customers may not realize that ceiling fans can be as useful in cold weather as they are in the heat of summer. Advise them to switch ceiling fans to turn clockwise in winter to increase warm air flow. This applies in all cases, except where ceiling fans are mounted on vaulted or cathedral ceilings. These fans are too high to create a perceptible wind chill, so they can stay on the counterclockwise setting all year.
Change or Clean Filters
A dirty furnace filter may not be as visible as a stained carpet, but a dirty filter will negatively affect the indoor air quality in the most pristine appearing house. Clogged filters can spread contaminants and cause a furnace to work harder than necessary. Remind customers to replace filters in accordance to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Schedule an Inspection
Whether you do the inspection yourself, or you choose to recommend a local energy auditor, a professional inspection will provide your customers with information specific to their home system. More importantly, a professional inspector will offer advice that could prevent air conditioning and refrigeration problems from cropping up at inconvenient times – a burst pipe during the winter months can damage a home and add a big red line to a household budget. Worse? If a heating/refrigerating system fails during a holiday gathering, it could ruin the day by adding stress and logistical complications to an otherwise happy occasion.
By providing your customers with some (or all) of the practical tips above, you can help improve their comfort and decrease the amount they are spending on heating and cooling. This reinforces the fact that they made the right choice and helps them feel better about their purchase. If your end-result is leaving every job with a happy customer, this is a great, value-added way to get there. After all, we all know that happy customers make recommendations, which will undoubtedly lead to more business, and increased profits for you!